Chaldean Catholic Patriarchate of Babylon: Weddings and Holy Liturgy should be cancelled due to coronavirus concerns

BAGHDAD, Iraq – Chaldean Catholic Patriarchate of Babylon announced preventive measures after the outbreak of COVID-19 (coronavirus) in several regions of Iraq. The Patriarchate also asked that parishioners cancel wedding ceremonies, condolence sessions, and even celebrating the Holy Liturgy until further notice.

********* PRESS STATEMENT *********

Due to the continuous infection cases of Coronavirus in Baghdad and some other cities, which is a cause for concern, we recommend that wedding parties and condolence sessions, celebration of Holy Liturgy on Sundays and all activities in our Chaldean churches in Baghdad be canceled until further notice, as a precautionary measure to limit the spread of COVID-19 virus. Furthermore, the Iraqi government suspended working hours in schools and universities, and stopped the public gatherings.

Therefore, we advise everybody to adhere to healthy preventive directions which are:

Drinking water continuously, wearing a protective mask (muzzle) in public gatherings and avoid shaking hands and kissing, especially that we are uncertain whether any preventive supplies or effective treatments are available.

Regarding the daily Holy Liturgy, the statement affirmed its continuity because the people attending are few; but, it is better for people to sit apart and avoid shaking hands.

On this occasion, we call upon all believers to pray, at their homes, for ending this epidemic. We also recommend them to recite the Preventive Prayer published on the Patriarchate website as well as the “Sahrana” prayer of Mother Virgin.

We called upon our bishops in other cities to take the same preventive measures.

May the Lord save all the people from this deadly epidemic.


Several cases of COVID-19 infection were recorded in separate cities in Iraq, which prompted many institutions to cancel all gatherings and celebrations, fearing the further spread of the virus.