Bratislava, February 22 (TASR) – Labour Minister Milan Krajniak (We Are Family) has raised the issue of reopening churches on a social network, claiming that spiritual service helps, for example, patients in care homes.
The minister suggests considering the reopening of churches under the strictly set conditions for participation in services. According to him, participation in services is a part of the freedom of religion and is protected by the Constitution. He thinks that the spiritual service and prayer cannot harm the people, rather the opposite is true.
Krajniak argues with better course of the COVID-19 disease among clients of care homes to whom spiritual help is available, adding that hospitals report better results among these patients as well.
“This was minister Krajniak’s personal opinion on the issue and he only suggested this possibility be considered. This proposal hasn’t been consulted within our party yet,” We Are Family’s press department told TASR in this connection, adding that the party is unambiguously in favour of following the COVID automaton.
The co-governing Freedom and Solidarity (SaS) views reopening churches in the current situation as absolutely irresponsible. It pointed to the fact that churches are attended mostly by the elderly, who belong to the most threatened group in terms of the COVID-19 disease. “If we are to open churches, we can open services and shops as well,” added the party.
Another governing For the People party realises the situation of believers, but asks them to be patient. “The epidemiological situation is the worst in recent times and it is extremely important that we minimise social contacts that are the main source of the infection’s spread,” stated the party in reaction to Krajniak’s consideration. The party believes in improvement of the situation thanks to vaccination and adherence to rules so that experts can recommend gradual loosening of measures, including services.
The opposition Voice-SD stated that the governing coalition lacks a plan how to lead Slovakia out of the worst situation and is unable to draw a lesson from its mistakes from the past. “The reopening of churches in November was a hastened decision by [Prime Minister] Igor Matovic, who wanted to demonstrate an assumed success of the country-wide testing in this way. The result of his steps is the current situation with 100 people dying daily and Slovakia leading the tragic world charts in terms of daily numbers of deaths and the number of people in hospitals,” stated the party.