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15 July, 2020
 
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Believers use side door to attend church

Easter worshippers receive Holy Communion in Latchia despite church lockdown

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A video posted on YouTube Thursday morning showed Easter worshippers using a service door at a church in Latchia, despite access prohibited due to a lockdown during the pandemic.

According to Kathimerini Cyprus, people who appeared to be orthodox believers were captured on video by 24News showing churchgoers entering and exiting the church of Agios Georgios in Latchia, a southern suburb in Nicosia.

Father Andreas, who performed worship services on Thursday morning, told 24News that there were no worshippers inside the church during the service, adding that believers went inside to decorate the building according to cultural traditions.

The priest said pieces of holy bread were left out on a table for believers who wished to receive holy communion after the service

But the video showed people of all ages, including young children and elderly, who were holding a piece of bread as they were coming out using a service door at the side of the building.

Sacramental or Holy Bread is given out to the faithful after they receive the Holy Communion at the end of a worship service, the Divine Liturgy. In the Greek Orthodox tradition, a small piece of the Holy Bread together with a portion of the blessed wine is given to believers.

According to Father Andreas, pieces of holy bread were left out on a table for believers who wished to receive the holy communion, so that they could come and get it after the service, adding that he had left the church shortly after the liturgy.

A government decree has banned church gatherings during the coronavirus pandemic, allowing worship services only behind closed doors while Archbishop Chrysostomos has called on believers to shelter in place during Easter and pray at home. 

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