With or Without QR Codes, We Cannot Ban People from Going to Church, Says Yekaterinburg Diocese in Russia

The Yekaterinburg diocese in Russia has no intention to introduce control of QR codes on coronavirus vaccination for church visitors, said archpriest Maxim Minyailo, chairman of the Department for Church Relations with the Public and the Media of the Yekaterinburg Diocese, in a message quoted by TASS news agency. This was his answer to a question about whether the diocese plans to introduce QR codes on covid vaccination for attending churches.

In early November, Deputy Governor of the Sverdlovsk Region, Pavel Krekov, suggested that religious institutions could introduce a QR code system. Yet, he conceded that the final decision remains with the church leaders.

“With all due respect, this is something that we do not plan to do”, the archpriest said. “It is absolutely impossible to ban someone from entering a church, with or without a QR code. I could understand limiting access to entertainment, or cultural events, but the church is a place where life and death issues come to the fore."

In the Sverdlovsk region, a QR code system has been introduced for visiting most public places.

Father Maxim expressed hope that this decision will not be applied to parishioners and church goers. “A concert or cinema is one thing, but a temple of God is quite another,” he added.