Moldovan Priests Lead March to Ward off COVID-19
Moldova Has One of the Highest Per Capita Rates of COVID-19 in Europe
Shunning masks and gloves, dozens of followers of the Moldovan Metropolitan Church are marching the length of the country.
Clutching crosses, icons, and church flags, dozens of Orthodox believers have set off on a walk north-south across Moldova, in an effort to ward off COVID-19.
They aim to walk roughly 33 kilometres per day, making stops along the way, but without wearing masks or gloves designed to combat the spread of the novel coronavirus.
“I’m not a dog who would wear a muzzle,” one woman taking part told Moldova’s TV 8. “I don’t believe in doctors, I fear only God.”
The marchers are members of the Moldovan Metropolitan Church, which falls under the Moscow Patriarchate.
They have a police escort, despite a law that still forbids public gatherings. With 14,363 confirmed cases and 480 deaths, including several priests, Moldova has one of the highest per capita rates of COVID-19 in Europe.
“It exists, but it is not so terrible,” a priest said on the march. “It’s more of a cold which can pass with some brandy.”
This brief report appeared on June 23, 2020 under a different title at Balkan Insight. See the source for additional photos.
See the Coronavirus / Faith in a Time of Pandemic section in our Archives 2020.
Madalin Necsutu is a political and investigative journalist specializing in Eastern Europe and the politics of ex-Soviet states . He holds an MA in International Relations from the Faculty of History in Bucharest, and is currently a PhD student in history in Chisinau. See his complete bio at BIRN (Balkan Investigative Reporting Network) and his personal archive of articles at Balkan Insight. He tweets @MadaliNecsutu.