In Sverdlovsk region, a conflict arose between the region government and the diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church on the functioning of churches and the celebration of Easter. The region officials tried to insist on closing the churches to prevent the parishioners from gathering in crowds, but the churchmen, led by Metropolitan Kirill, refused to do so. According to the results of lengthy disputes and negotiations, a compromise decision was made: the churches remain open, and the metropolitan urges parishioners to “listen” to the decision of the Federal Service for Supervision of Consumer Rights Protection and Human Rights that is trying to limit the holding of mass religious events.
With the ongoing epidemic, which the authorities have not yet managed to cope with, the continued functioning of the churches will lead to a worsening of the epidemiological situation. The infection problem in Russia is still quite serious: the incidence is not decreasing, the number of cases has exceeded 20 thousand people, hospitals in Moscow and St. Petersburg are already crowded with patients.
The position of the Russian Orthodox Church is clear: churches are a source of funds, closing them means a drop in the flow of money from parishioners. In addition, there is a fear that, without regular brainwashing, some believers may lose faith and step back from religion and the church. This will lead to a decrease in the influence and incomes of the Russian Orthodox Church.
The authorities got into a tricky situation. The pandemic forces them to take emergency measures, which includes closing churches. However, long flirting with the Russian Orthodox Church, financing it and encouraging its actions led to the clergy gaining strength and becoming influential. In addition, the church provides the authorities with services in response, participating in the propaganda and intoxication of the people. The weakening of its position in society will lead to a weakening of power itself, which cannot exist without the stupefying and deceit of broad population masses. All this forces the authorities to reckon with the opinion of the Russian Orthodox Church and to put aside the measures that can damage churchmen in any way. As a result, the authorities are taking half-hearted measures that will not be able to effectively reduce the spread of the infection.
Thus, we see how obscurantism, selfish interests of the clergy, political considerations of the authorities lead to putting millions of people at risk of infection.