Darwin Greek Church closed for Sunday service

Cavenagh St Church did not hold a Sunday morning service on November 21. Instead, a collapsible table was set up outside and covered with candles, images of saints, and bushes of basil. “A sad day for Darwin’s Greek Orthodox community as our church is closed,” a handwritten sign read. “May our holy saints intercede for us. Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on us and save us. Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on Father Joel.” Father Joel Xanthos has been criticized by leading Greek figures and health authorities for describing vaccines as “experimental biological agents”. On Thursday, Police Commissioner Jamie Chalker warned the church to comply with the area’s vaccination mandate after a rule-breaking service was allegedly held by unvaccinated Father Xanthos. The Greek Orthodox community of Northern Australia was approached for comment, but declined to comment.

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