Easter service held online at Hữu Bằng church in mid-April in Sơn Lôi Commune, Bắc Ninh Province, when Sơn Lôi was under lockdown. — VNA/VNS Photo Anh Tuấn
HÀ NỘI — Religious organisations nationwide have moved to temporarily halt gatherings in the face of the complex developments of the latest COVID-19 outbreak in the central city of Đà Nẵng.
On July 30, Most Venerable Thích Thiện Nhơn, Chairman of the Việt Nam Buddhist Sangha (VBS) Executive Board, sent a document asking the VBS’s committees and institutes, municipal and provincial chapters, Buddhist training establishments, and Buddhist monks and nuns at temples and pagodas across the country to temporarily cancel religious events and ceremonies and training courses gathering large groups of people.
The board also requested all religious facilities to follow COVID-19 prevention and control measures like hand washing, wearing of face masks, and health monitoring when necessary.
On July 27, the Archdiocese of Huế announced the indefinite postponement of the 32nd La Vang Pilgrimage Festival, which was previously scheduled for August 12-15 in the central province of Quảng Trị. This is the first time the event has been postponed. The pilgrimage attracts hundreds of thousands of pilgrims nationwide every year.
On July 31, HCM City’s Archdiocese announced a hiatus of pastoral activities and liturgical celebrations until further notice. During the period, all followers are exempt from attending Sunday Mass, with daily prayers gathering less than 30 people and following distancing rules. From August 1, holy ceremonies at cathedrals will be broadcast online.
All churches and oratories have to carry out preventive measures guided by the health ministry.
On August 2, Bishop of Cần Thơ Diocese Tri Bửu Thiên announced a temporary halt of Sunday Mass at all churches under the diocese until further notice. Meanwhile, daily Mass can be maintained, with the number of participants kept under 30 and participants following disease preventive measures and physical distancing rules.
The diocese also cancelled some doctrine and training classes gathering more than 30 people. — VNS