ΚΟΖΑΝΙ – A 74-year-old woman attending a religious service near Kozani, in northern Greece, was asked to leave because she was wearing a mask to protect herself against COVID-19 but refused the order.
The incident took place at the Monastery of Agia Paraksevi in the village of Milochori on July 26, said media reports, with a monk named Ignatios interrupting the service upon spotting her and saying that, “The church is no place for a carnival.”
Speaking on ERT broadcaster, Ignatios was quoted as saying that the coronavirus pandemic was part of a scheme orchestrated by a “global dictatorship,” in line with conspiracy theories backed by anti-mask groups and supporters of US President Donald Trump who think there's no virus and that it's a hoax.
The monastery has reportedly broken away from the Metropolis of Florina, Prespes and Eordaia and the monks have severed ties with the Istanbul-based Patriarchate.
Many Greeks are refusing to wear masks in the wake of the lifting of a long lockdown aimed at preventing the spread of the Coronavirus, leading to more cases being reported and the New Democracy government mulling more health protocols.