An ultra-conservative ayatollah in Iran has condemned the government decision to suspend Friday Prayer gatherings, in wake of coronavirus spread, saying it is God’s command.
In his written sermon for Friday, Ahmad Alamolhoda says he has obeyed the government decision not to hold Friday Prayer gatherings, but it is not a “justifiable” order, since cities and the country are not in quarantine and health officials have endorsed holding open air gatherings in Mashhad and other parts of the country.
Alamolhoda, the Friday Prayer Imam of the holy city of Mashhad in northeast Iran, is known for his fundamentalist views and his staunch support for Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.
It is not clear which health officials Alamolhoda was referring to.
The council supervising Friday Prayers decided February 28 to cancel prayer gatherings in 23 provincial capitals to minimize the risk of coronavirus spreading further among the population.