Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem shuts down due to COVID-19 threat


Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem shuts down due to COVID-19 threat

Jerusalem’s Church of Holy the Sepulchre, revered in Christian tradition as the site of crucifixion and burial of Jesus Christ, has been closed in the wake of Coronavirus outbreak.

The development was announced by the representatives of the church. Referring to this, Press Secretary of the Assembly of Catholic Ordinaries of the Holy Land Wadie Abu Nassar said that the decision was taken after a meeting of the senior clerics and Israeli police. This comes in the wake of the Israeli Government calling for stricter restrictions to combat the spread of COVID-19.

The representative of the clergy emphasised that the church leader expressed understanding; and although the original understanding has been that this order will remain valid for a week, however, nobody knows how long this crisis will last.

Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem shuts down due to COVID-19 threat

As per the new restrictions, a statement from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office, prohibited people from leaving their homes except for going out to buy essentials, such as medicines, food, or to seek medical assistance.

The statement mentioned that individuals aged 60 or more, especially the elderly and those at-risk groups, must remain at home and avoid risking themselves by stepping outside their homes. Violators will attract criminal action against them, with the police has been tasked with enforcing the orders, which will be in place for seven days.

The said order comes days after the nearby Al-Aqsa Mosque compound closed down last week. However, the officials of the three main Churches that own the Basilica said, “We wish to assure that inside the Basilica, the prayers of the three communities will continue, rather intensify”.

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