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24.03.2020

Appeal of the Abbot of the New Athos Monastery

 

Dear brothers and sisters!

In recent months, humanity has come across an invisible enemy, it’s coronavirus. Every day, hundreds of people die from this virus in Italy, in the Lombardy region. Governments of different countries impose restrictions on the movement of their citizens and close external borders. The world is facing a serious threat.
Unfortunately, in Abkhazia people don’t quite understand the danger of coronavirus. More than a hundred years ago, the whole family of my great-grandfather, his first wife and three children, died from the Spanish flu.
On behalf of the New Athos Monastery’s clergy, I ask everyone to observe sanitary standards. Wash your hands several times a day, do not touch your face with dirty hands, do not gather more than 3 people. It is important not only not to get sick, but also not to be a virus carrier.
Until now, a considerable number of tourists come across the border of Abkhazia. Now this is very dangerous, virus can easily penetrate in Abkhazia.
Now I appeal to the clergy! Cancel all public services and ask the flock to pray at home. Please help save the life of old believers for whom this virus is especially dangerous. Think about how you can support such people with food and medicine during the quarantine.
Please cancel wedding parties until the summer.
I ask you to cancel the funeral dinners both at the mourning and funeral processions.
Let’s not anger the Lord with our stupidity and pride.
God bless you!

24 March, 2020

Abbot of the New Athos Monastery,
Hierodeacon ab David (Sarsaniya)
The Holy Metropolis of Abkhazia.