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28 September, 2022
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Police anxious as pilgrims throng church

Nicosia cops keep eye on pious crowd flocking to local church to see holy relics


Crowds of Christian pilgrims rushed to a local church in Strovolos over the weekend to catch a glimpse of a relic, with police on Sunday standing by amid concerns of health law violations.

According to local reports, online users took to social media on Sunday to criticize scores of pilgrims seen on video standing in line very close to each other outside a church in Strovolos, Nicosia district.

Images and videos revealed long lines on Sunday outside the Church of Panayia Trachonas, as pilgrims waited to pay homage to sacred relics. Local media said cult followers believed the mortal remains and a pair of slippers inside the reliquary were thought to have belonged to Saint Ephraim of Nea Makri.

Cult followers believe mortal remains and a pair of slippers inside the reliquary belonged to Saint Ephraim of Nea Makri

Police told Knews that officers were on site outside the church on Sunday to monitor the implementation of health protocols, including social distancing and the use of face coverings. 

Communications officer Eleni Constantinou said on a local TV show that police went to inspect the situation after they were notified about pilgrims visiting the church en masse.

“Pilgrims were asked to adhere to the executive orders that have been issued as well as maintain necessary safety distances,” she said.

Reports said dozens of pilgrims have been visiting the relics since Saturday. Police also told Knews that Sunday's gathering was largely uneventful with only two individuals being issued €300 fines for failure to wear a face mask.

Cyprus  |  Nicosia  |  Strovolos  |  public health  |  face mask  |  citation  |  holy relic  |  Saint Ephraim  |  remains

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