As the coronavirus pandemic was sweeping through Belarus, The St. Elisabeth Monastery tried to hide the outbreak in their church. Even as hundreds of nuns, priests, and members became sick, they continued to hold packed services with no social distancing and discouraged people from wearing masks.
Father Andrew Lemeshonok told the nuns to lie about the spread of the infection and told his congregation that churches were places of healing and that you can't get sick from holy communion even when you share a spoon with sick people and kiss the same icons. To keep the scandal under wraps, the leadership of the monastery resorted to cult-like tactics, discouraging nuns from even reaching out to friends and family.
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