Lettland: Priests to receive one-time crisis allowance of $325 in Latvia

. : Lettland

The Latvian Cabinet of Ministers voted on  May 12 to support the Ministry of Justice‚Äôs proposal to allocate $255,709 (236,400 euros) from contingency funds for crisis benefits for church clergy and employees. Each qualifying priest, pastor, or employee will receive a one-time payment of $325 (300 euros), reports DELFI. According to information from religious organizations, 300 euros per person will be sufficient to satisfy basic needs, the Justice Ministry explained.

People working in religious organizations continue to perform their duties during this time of quarantine, the Ministry of Justice noted in its explanation for the payments. They cannot claim downtime benefits and their income has been significantly reduced as parishioners are unable to attend services, the Ministry added. The state is grateful to the important role that churches play in the preservation of the mental and physical health of the population. Churches have encouraged people to stay at home and at the same time have offered psychological assistance to parishioners. Thus, the state should provide ministers and employees with at least minimal support.

To qualify, the income of any given religious organization for April 2020 should be at least 30% less than its income for April 2019. Church services in Latvia have been suspended since mid-March, and the state of emergency has been extended in the country until June 9. (Quelle: www.orthochristian.com, 15. Mai 2020)

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