A church leader who blamed gay marriage for the coronavirus or COVID-19 pandemic has got infected with the deadly virus himself. In an interview this year, the head of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Kyiv claimed that the outbreak was a punishment of God for the sins of men, the sinfulness of humanity.

"First of all, I mean same-sex marriage," Patriarch Filaret said who is now reportedly admitted in a hospital down with COVID-19. As per the Ukrainian news site, 112 International, the preacher has developed pneumonia. Same-sex marriages are not legal in Ukraine. Filaret who is a prominent religious figure in the country heads a church of almost 15 million followers. He was widely condemned for his comments.

COVID-19 Infects Homophobic Preacher

Patriarch Filaret
Patriarch Filaret Wikimedia Commons

A Ukrainian LGBT+ group in April sued the preacher for his comments. Filaret is considered a hugely influential figure as he led a split of the Church from the Russian Orthodox order, which led to him getting excommunicated.

A spokesperson of the Amnesty International Ukraine, Maria Guryeva, said after the preacher's statements," Such statements...are very harmful because they could lead to increased attacks, aggression, discrimination and acceptance of violence against certain groups." The WHO had also cautioned against the spread of misinformation regarding the deadly novel virus.

Other religious preachers have also been chided as they attempted to blame the LGBT+ people for the spread of the virus. The US President Donald Trump also drew criticism for his continuous blaming China for the crisis. The leader had also called the virus 'China virus' many times.

The deadly virus outbreak that probably originated from the Chinese city of Wuhan located in the Hubei province has created a major stir around the world in recent times. The pandemic has infected over 27.3 million people globally and claimed the lives of more than 893,000 people worldwide. An effective vaccine to tackle the virus is expected by the first quarter of 2021, however, Russia registered a vaccine at the start of August.