Story By: Gheorghi Caraseni, Sub Editor: Joseph Golder, Agency: Newsflash
This is the moment Russian devotees gather on the street in close proximity to celebrate Holy Week during the COVID-19 quarantine measures.
The first video shows a service taking place in the city of Samara in the south-western Russian region of the same name on 7th April.
In the clip, a large group of adults and children is seen standing on the street in close proximity while not wearing gloves or face masks.
After singing a hymn, the priest releases several birds from his red box as the congregation applauds.
The other video shows a long queue of people entering a church in the city of Krasnoyarsk in the central region of Krasnoyarsk Krai.
The congregation does not appear to be wearing protective gear as they stand close to one another.
Andrey Skvortsov, spokesman for the Krasnoyarsk diocese, said that all the people in the footage know each other very well.
He said: “Church parishioners have known each other for a long time and that’s why we trust one another and are not afraid to be together during the quarantine. You should not judge.”
Skvortsov said that many churches in the region have displayed signs advising devotees to keep a safe distance and that some have disinfectant at the entrance.
According to the latest figures from the Johns Hopkins University, Russia has registered 8,672 cases of COVID-19 and 63 related deaths.
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