Police have booked nine churchgoers and the verger of the church who openly defied government coronavirus restrictions on Wednesday during the Epiphany service held by the controversial Morphou Bishop Neophytos, who has since the outbreak of the pandemic caused headaches to authorities by outspokenly refusing to comply with government restrictions.
The Morphou Bishop on Wednesday held an Epiphany service at the Ayia Marina church in Evrychou, where the faithful flocked in numbers far exceeding the current 75-person limit set by coronavirus restrictions.
The ten, which included nine churchgoers and the church’s verger, were booked after police ascertained that coronavirus measures were being flouted, handing out 300 euro fines to the faithful and a 500 euro fine to the verger.
Local media also reported that a ruckus had also been raised between members of police and churchgoers.
Last month, when stricter measures imposed by the government included a complete ban on the presence of the faithful at church services, Neophytou openly called on the faithful to defy restrictions and vowed to keep the churches in his diocese open.
Public outcry lead authorities to look into the matter, with the police and Attorney General Giorgos Savvides concluding that his controversial statements were not in themselves a violation of any law or coronavirus decree.