Moldovan head of church wants the state to pay gas bills


Eastern Europe


A woman prays during the Orthodox Easter celebrations at the Armenian Cemetery church in Chisinau, Moldova, 28 April 2019. Photo EPA, Dumitru Doru

The head of the Moldovan Orthodox Church, Metropolitan Vladimir, calls on the Moldovan government to help support local churches by paying their gas bills.

According to Vladimir, the price of 11.08 lei (0.55 euros) for a cubic meter of gas is a problem for the communities that could hardly cope with the payment of the bills even with the old tariff.

Metropolitan of Chisinau and all Moldova Vladimir. Photo EPA, Dumitru Doru

The Metropolitan said in a statement that for rural communities, these high gas prices are an even more significant burden, given the poverty of many of the country's inhabitants. "If the believers in the villages do not have enough money to pay their own bills during the winter, there is a risk that the problem for the gas bills of the churches will be enormous."


The leader of the Moldovan Church notes that, in fact, the church buildings themselves belong to the state. "The Churches do not belong to the priests, but the communities", said Vladimir. "Most of these churches are monuments protected by the state."

Vladimir concludes his open letter to the state by saying that the Church calls on the state authorities, "especially in these difficult times, to help overcome the serious problems caused by the pandemic and the natural gas crisis, as good sons of the Church helping each other."

Across Europe, soaring gas prices have partially been caused by a surge in demand as economies emerge from Covid-19 induced lockdowns. Because of a cold European winter and spring, gas supplies had already been heavily depleted by the summer.



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