The Russian Orthodox Church has accused people who do not want to be vaccinated against COVID-19 and called them sinners who will atone for their guilt for the rest of their lives.
The statement comes amid a new jump in the number of infected and dead in Russia, Reuters reported.
The call came as 24,353 new cases were reported, including 6,557 in Moscow, bringing the official total to 5,635,294 since the start of the pandemic.
Speaking on state television, Metropolitan Hilarion said those who refused to be vaccinated were committing “a sin they will have to atone for throughout their lives.”
The metropolitan added: “Every day I see cases of people going to a priest to confess that they refused to be vaccinated or to vaccinate their relatives and inadvertently caused someone’s death.” “It is a sin to think of ourselves, but not of others,” Hilarion said.