The document was adopted at the meeting of the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church on March 11, 2020.
The Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church is concerned about the spread of coronavirus infection in the world and its consequences for millions of people, many of whom are not only facing the threat of infection, but have also experienced the socio-economic consequences of this disaster.
Members of the Holy Synod express their condolences to the relatives and friends of the victims of this disease in China, South Korea, Iran, Italy, France, Germany, Spain and other countries.
Blessed before the Lord are the works of doctors and volunteers who develop and implement medical and preventive measures aimed at helping the sick and preventing the further spread of the disease.
During the times of epidemics, the Russian Orthodox Church has always carried out its witness service, not denying anyone of spiritual care and full participation in the Holy Sacraments. We call for restraint, sobriety and prayerful calm, and we draw attention to the fact that a believer should not give in to panic and fears associated with the spread of unverified information about infection.
At the same time, it is unacceptable to treat coronavirus infection lightly, ignore medical prescriptions, ignore preventive measures, exposing yourself and others to the risk of infection.
The Holy Synod considers it important to consistently and strictly observe sanitary and hygienic measures of a preventive nature in parishes and monasteries, especially in those regions where the epidemiological situation is officially recognized as severe, including the wider use of sanitary solutions to disinfect icons and the use of disposable drinking cups.
If a coronavirus infection spreads in a particular region, additional preventive measures should be applied in consultation with the clergy.
The Holy Synod calls on archpastors, pastors, monastics and laypeople of the Russian Orthodox Church to intensify prayer for overcoming the disease and for giving strength to doctors who are struggling with it.