Churches go controversial: QR code is asked for entering


European Union


Churches are scaling down due to the rising Covid infections. Photo ANP, Koen van Weel

In several countries, churches must ask their members to show a valid QR code that shows one is not infected with Covid-19. However, this regulation is not undisputed.

In Denmark, church visitors are required to show a QR code to attend services with more than 200 people. Critics however, argue that this restriction is contrary to the essence of the services where everyone should be welcome.

Parish priest Carsten Ørum Jørgensen from Nørrelandskirken in Holstebro says that one must be able to come as one is. "We have never had to impose prerequisites for people who come to worship. I think it would be better to introduce masks."

The pastor of the Lutheran Free Church Skjern Bykirke, Morten Rugager Kristensen, is also critical. On Twitter, he wrote: "There must be no conditions for attending a service. It simply contradicts my view of the gospel: "Come unto me, ALL ye that labour and are heavily laden, and I will give you rest."

On the other hand, Bishop of Elsinore Diocese Peter Birch believes that the restriction is acceptable for now but that it may present challenges in the future. "After all, not all worship services are attended by 200 people or more. If the restriction, however, is going to last longer, it may present some challenges in December."

Call for testing

The Holy Synod of the Church of Greece issued a circular stipulating that unvaccinated faithful should get Covid tests before entering temples, as the new measures will come into force on Saturday, protothema.gr reports. Even though showing a QR code to enter a temple is not yet required in Greece, the Synod asks the members to get tested before visiting the religious site anyways. Priests and other church officials are required to test twice a week, The European Times writes.

In addition, the Metropolitan of Mytilene, Iakovos, sent a letter to Greek priests who refuse to be vaccinated. According to the letter, approximately 35 priests have a week to get at least the first dose of the vaccine. If they still refuse, they will be sent on an unpaid holiday, TO BHMA reports.

The Metropolitan of Dodoni, Chrysostomos, agrees. On the show "The GPS of the news" he says that "those who foolishly proclaim stupid declarations" should be forced to get the vaccine and that those who do not conform to the decisions of the church put themselves out of the church.

Covid QR code required in several countries

As the number of Covid cases rises again, several countries impose new restrictions, under which the Covid QR code, Kristeligt Dagblad reports. This is required in restaurants and many shops in Austria, Romania, Bulgaria, Germany, and the Netherlands.



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