Russia holds church accountable for coronavirus infections


Interfax-Religiia, 21 August 2020


The Orthodox parish of the village of Ishparsovo in Bashkiria was fined 200,000 rubles for an outbreak of coronavirus. A city court of Sterlitamak issued an order concerning this.


"The religious organization of the Orthodox parish of St. Michael the Archangel church of the village of Ishparsovo . . . is found guilty of committing an administrative  violation of law based on part 2 of article 6.3 of the Code of Administrative Violations of Law of the RF and is assessed a penalty in the form of an administrative fine of 200,000 rubles," the court's decision states.


It was established that church services were conducted in the church, despite the prohibition on conducting mass rituals and ceremonies. In particular, a worship service was held on 9 May, after which parishioners came down with the coronavirus and were hospitalized.


The court came to the conclusion that the religious organization violated the federal law on sanitary and epidemiological welfare, which created a threat to the life and health of people. The legal entity was assessed the minimum penalty provided for by the administrative code because of the absence of aggravating circumstances.


In early June, the republican department of Rospotrebnadzor reported cases of community-spread pneumonia in six persons from the parish of the aforementioned church. As of the present, two cases of coronavirus infection have been confirmed in parishioners. (tr. by PDS, posted 21 August 2020)

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