VILNIUS, Lithuania (ChurchMilitant.com) - Lithuania, a mainly Catholic country brutalized by Soviet gulags and Nazi concentration camps, is pressing ahead with extreme measures to excommunicate the unvaccinated from normal activities of daily life.
On Wednesday, the government approved restrictions on citizens without an "Opportunity Pass" — prohibiting the unvaccinated from eating or buying food at catering establishments, shopping at non-essential stores or traveling between cities on public transport.
The restrictions, which come into force Sept. 13, will also bar unvaccinated persons from hairdressers, beauty salons, sports clubs, or participating in commercial and noncommercial cultural, entertainment, sports events, celebrations, fairs or festivals.
An unvaxxed person will not be able to approach a technician to carry out repairs if the contact will take more than 15 minutes.
Following a day of protests leading to riots outside the nation's parliament, Prime Minister Ingrida Šimonytė — a pro-LGBT and pro-abortion Catholic — withdrew her threat of even more draconian curbs that would have banned the unvaccinated from local buses and trains.
Over 5,000 protestors erected "gallows for traitors" and wore yellow Star of David badges comparing the "segregation of Lithuania into vaccinated and unvaccinated" to the Nazi occupation where Jews were forced into ghettos and forced to wear "yellow star" badges.
Lithuanian intelligence supported the government by categorizing the protests as "anti-state activity." As social chaos grew, Lithuanian media condemned police violence against journalists during the riot in Vilnius. Vilnius City Municipality revoked all permits for public events.
Emilia Mituziene, who first reported news of Lithuania's repression in the English media, warned that her nation's military is "due to receive enhanced powers, including takeover the property of the businesses and individuals" and "those refusing the jab would not get statutory sick leave."
Church Militant spoke at length to Mituziene, a Lithuanian medical recruitment consultant, chemist and engineer who had "four generations of her family brutalized by Stalinist repressions and Siberian gulags," which gave her "a legacy of integrity and freedom of choice as two core values."
Mituziene explained why she was deeply troubled by the restrictions in Lithuania where "all this cascaded logic leads to one conclusion: the privileges are given for only one reason: obedience to comply and take the vaccine."
I grew up, graduated school and began university in Soviet times. We were poor because my parents have never joined the Communist Party upon returning to Lithuania. It was a life of conformity; it was a sense of being owned rather than being free.
With deeply rooted love to my country, I consider integrity as the ultimate value. I believe the truth stands on solid foundations and doesn't mind being questioned. Sadly, the current COVID context reminds me of the Soviet framework, where moral competence was obfuscated.
Mituziene lamented the lack of opposition from Lithuanian bishops and priests who were simply following the official position of the Vatican and claiming that "vaccination is for the common good."
Lithuanian President Gitanas Nausėda, who calls himself "a Catholic practicing irregularly," has had the bishops' approval to promote the shots among the elderly by erecting vaccination centers next to churches, Mituziene said.
However, Lithuanian ambassador to the Holy See Petras Zapolskas told Church Militant he did not view the restrictions on the unvaccinated as "draconian" but noted "all the measures were the same as in most EU countries."
Meanwhile, Lithuanian legal expert Dr. Vaidotas Vaičaitis, is blaming the EU-Pfizer vaccine contract for "a direct link between the obligation to use these vaccines" and quarantine or "other special legal regimes restricting human rights and other constitutional values" in the European Union's member states.
Vaičaitis, associate professor in the Faculty of Law at Vilnius University, slams the secrecy behind the deal, noting that "the places where the contract deals with the purchase and delivery prices of vaccines are blacked out."
Pharmaceutical giants like Pfizer pushing the COVID-19 experimental vaccine have disclosed only 7% of contracts with governments and published clinical trial protocols for just 12% of trials, Church Militant reported Tuesday.
Pfizer has so far committed to producing 2.4 billion doses of vaccines in the EU plus other EU vaccine contracts with Moderna (160 million), AstraZeneca (300 million) and Johnson & Johnson (200 million), which adds up to around 3 billion doses, Vaičaitis explains.
"As the EU has a population of around 448 million, this would require six doses of vaccine per capita under current EU commitments," the legal eagle notes.
Subtracting children under 12 and the population of Hungary (which has not signed the contract) — a figure of 50 million — would result in each EU resident getting eight vaccine doses, he concludes, asking: "Why do we need eight doses of vaccine?"
The Oviedo Convention ratified by Lithuania "prohibits any discrimination in the choice of treatment methods and any medical testing without the consent of the person and guarantees that any health intervention can only take place with the freely given and informed consent of the person concerned," Vaičaitis emphasizes.
Lithuania's capital is well-known among Catholics who pray the Chaplet of the Divine Mercy, which was revealed to Polish nun St. Faustina, who spent most of her time at a convent in Vilnius and wrote her diary there.
According to church historian Miranda Zapor Cruz, "The history of Catholicism in Lithuania is unique among European countries because of the late date of conversion to Catholicism and the high percentage of Lithuanians who continue to identify as Catholic today."
The Church was instrumental in creating Lithuania's national identity, "which reached its climax in the close identification of Catholicism with nationalism in the anti-Soviet dissent movements of the 1980s and 1990s," Cruz argues.
Under Soviet occupation, the severely persecuted "Lithuanian Catholic Church not only fought for its own religious freedom, but participated in the fight for political freedom as well," Cruz writes.