Yesterday, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem was closed as a precaution against the global coronavirus pandemic.
The closure was decided upon after a meeting between police in Israel and church officials, according to the spokesperson of the Assembly of Catholic Ordinaries of the Holy Land Wadie Abu Nassar.
“The initial understanding is that this order is valid for one week, although nobody knows how long this crisis will take.”
Nassar said that “if, God forbid, this situation goes on too long and it enters into the season of Easter,” the hope is an arrangement could be found to still celebrate Christ’s Resurrection under new guidelines, such as reduced attendance.
The closure was confirmed the custodian to the keys of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre Adeeb Joudeh, who said on Facebook:
Pray with me that we meet soon as we open the doors of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and the doors of Jerusalem. Pray with me.
Similar restrictions are being placed all across the Holy Land. All synagogues are closed, now holding their prayers outdoors with no more than 10 people at a time. All prayers at the Temple Mount have been suspended as well. At the Western Wall, holding Mass, praying, and kissing the stones of the wall were suspended as well.