ADDIS ABABA – The Ethiopian Orthodox Church on Wednesday told its followers to stay and pray at home starting from today as part of an effort to contain coronavirus pandemic.
The order came a day after Ethiopia’s Islamic Affairs Supreme Council suspended all prayers in mosques for the same reason.
Millions of Orthodox faithfuls across the nation are now in a 55-day fasting season which will end with the celebration of Easter Holiday after two weeks.
The church’s patriarch Abune Matyas to reporters said followers of the Church worshipers would not be attending church services throughout the country as of today.
Ethiopia so far has 29 confirmed cases.
The head of the Church, Abune Mathias, is now in isolation for prayer and fasting and restricting himself from meeting with other people as of Thursday.
However, the church has announced daily religious prayers and devotional services inside the churches are being conducted as usual but with a very limited number of priests attending.
The church also allowed facilities of its several Universities, Colleges, and Priest training institutes in the country to be used for the government as isolation and treatment centers for COVID-19 patients.
This support is in addition to a 3 million birr to support the government’s endeavor to tackle COVID-19.
By Sisay Sahlu
Bole Holly Savior Orthodox Church in Addis Abeba [Photo File]