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Over 100 CSI priests tests Covid-19 positive after annual retreat, 2 die

More than 100 priests belonging to the Church of South India (CSI) were tested positive for coronavirus infection. The Christian priests were tested positive after they attended an annual retreat at Munnar in Kerala. Two of priests had died due to the coronavirus infection. The deceased were identified as Rev Bijumon and Rev Shine B Raj.

It is alleged that the annual retreat held at CSI Christ Church in Munnar from April 13 to April 17 has violated the Covid-19 restrictions in the state. many priests ad travelled to Munnar from the LMS Church in Thiruvananthpuram in a bus. As many as 350 priests from various churches attended the meet. The priests were warned of disciplinary action if they failed to attend.

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“The annual retreats of Central Kerala diocese and Kochi diocese were also scheduled last month and they were postponed due to a surge in Covid cases. But CSI South Kerala held the retreat secretly at Munnar without informing the government. As per the government instructions, only 50 people are allowed in a conference. But here all safety guidelines went for a toss,” Joint Christian Council member Jacob Mathew told Indian Express.

But CSI church has declined the allegation. “The retreat was organised adhering to protocol and we had got permission from the government. It is true that some of the priests have tested positive. But it has been proven that the infection was not spread from that conference. Two priests died due to the various diseases they had been suffering from. It is evident that it is the propaganda by anti-CSI lobbies to defame the Church, which is going to hold polls in the coming months,” said T T Praveen, secretary of South Kerala diocese of CSI.


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