All-Ukrainian Council of Churches to cooperate with the government in the awareness-raising campaign on COVID-19
This issue was the subject of a working meeting of the All-Ukrainian Council of Churches and Religious Organizations with the Prime Minister of Ukraine Denis Shmygal and other members of the Government, which took place on Thursday, August 20, In the club of the Cabinet of Ministers.
This was reported by the official website of the AUCCIRO.
The Head of Government noted that current educational activities could help slow down the spread of COVID-19 and avoid the risk of overloading the health system with patients so that everyone can get the necessary medical care. In this area, the government relies on the assistance of churches and religious organizations.
Metropolitan Epifaniy, Primate of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, who chairs the AUCCIRO, thanked the Prime Minister that the call of the religious community for dialogue was heard and government meetings with the AUCCRIO are held regularly.
He stressed the openness of the AUCCIRO to cooperate with the Government in developing and implementing a set of educational measures aimed at stopping the rapid spread of COVID-19 in Ukraine. Metropolitan Epifaniy recalled the statement of the AUCCIRO, in which religious figures called on the Ministry of Health to refrain from generalized public accusations about the alleged General non-compliance of the religious community with anti-epidemic measures, and in return to eliminate possible risks through effective practical interaction.
Head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, Patriarch Sviatoslav, noted that the Church is experienced in forming a new culture of behavior in society aimed at protecting the health and treating others responsibly. According to him, in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, Ukrainian churches can become a driving force for the formation of a safe culture of relationships between people – not only during services but in everyday life, especially in the educational process.
This idea is also supported by Bishop Vitaly Kryvytsky, who has stressed that it is not possible to replace school education with online lessons fully, and therefore it is necessary to look for optimal ways to restore the educational process in compliance with the new culture of behavior in public places-use antiseptics and wash your hands thoroughly, avoid physical contact and keep a distance.
Stanislav Nosov, Head of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Ukraine, has put forward several proposals for organizing the educational process. In particular, he suggests to place students in the class one person per desk, reduce the duration of lessons with the possibility of introducing several changes.
In addition to this, the legal adviser to the Chief Rabbi of Kyiv and Ukraine, Hennady Bilorytsky proposed to grant the right to educational institutions, including schools, to independently determine the volume and level of necessary quarantine measures, because the situation with the disease is better understood on the ground. However, in his opinion, first of all, it is essential to provide all schools with antiseptic means.
Also, the participants of the meeting drew attention to the economic and social problems faced by many families in Ukraine. First Deputy Senior Bishop of the Ukrainian Church of Evangelical Christians Anatoly Kazachok suggested paying attention to the issues of customs clearance of humanitarian goods received by religious organizations. According to him, the elimination of difficulties at customs will allow providing food and basic necessities to many more people and families in need in difficult life circumstances.
The meeting ended with the final comments of the relevant officials, who announced the directions for further practical cooperation of government structures with churches and religious organizations.