(LifeSiteNews) — Lithuania, a historically Catholic Baltic nation which bucked Soviet oppression in the 1980s, has now effectively created a two-tiered society by requiring its citizens to show a government-issued COVID-19 health pass to participate in most aspects of society.
After joining the EU Digital COVID Certificate (EUDCC) program in June, Lithuanian officials dropped the hammer on unvaccinated citizens last month by making the COVID-19 vaccine passport mandatory to access a slew of public and even private gatherings, events, and venues.
Beginning September 13, citizens who do not qualify for or do not use the EUDCC, or the locally issued “Freedom ID,” have been barred from “non-essential shops,” public indoor spaces, public gatherings, private parties, larger events, cafes, restaurants, shopping malls, beauty shops, and more.
The EUDCC, a digital document that can be checked via a QR code, is used to show proof of having obtained a full round of COVID-19 vaccinations, of having received a negative test result in the last 48 hours, or of having recently recovered from COVID. Lithuanians can also use a so-called “Freedom ID,” a locally issued document approved by the government in May to be used as a “health pass.”
According to a statement on the government’s official “Koronastop” website, “all contact services and economic activities shall be carried out and events organised (except for the established exceptions) only for persons who meet the criteria set by the National Certificate as the national covid pass. Only persons who can present a valid National Certificate shall be able to receive contact services.”
Putting additional strain on citizens, some employers have begun forcing their employees to show proof of vaccination, shoving unvaccinated workers into unpaid leave or forbidding them to work in-person.
In a lengthy article detailing Lithuania’s strict new mandates, Lithuanian resident Gluboco Lietuva explained that as an unvaccinated citizen he is prohibited from accessing most public spaces.
Lietuva also said that he and his wife were both suspended from their jobs without pay after their employers enacted policies requiring the health pass to go to work.
“We are allowed to return when we comply with the mandate to present a valid Covid Pass,” he wrote.
My wife and I don’t have the Covid Pass.
We refuse to accept the authoritarianism and control of the new regime.
So we’ve lost our jobs and been banished from most of society.
It’s been 6 weeks so far. There is currently no end date planned for the new regime.
— Gluboco Lietuva (@gluboco) October 23, 2021
Lietuva argued that Lithuania, which suffered for decades under crushing tyrannical rule by the Soviet Union before declaring sovereignty in 1989 and independence in 1990, has now succumbed to a new totalitarianism under the auspices of public health.
“We battled against the government-led propaganda and ‘Show me your documents!’ authoritarianism of the USSR, only to now acquiesce meekly to a new regime of media-led propaganda and technocratic, fear-driven health authoritarianism of ‘Show me your Covid QR Code!’” he said.
Lietuva added that residents of Lithuania, freed from the grip of Communism three decades ago, have “re-entered into a world where you have to whisper about your opposition to government policies, where you have to scan your documents to eat in a restaurant. Where you’re suspended from work without pay for non-compliance. And where fear compels you to undergo medical treatments, you don’t want.”
According to Lietuva, despite some protests Lithuanians have by and large accepted the new segregation of society by vaccination status with a general attitude of “apathy.”
The apathy in response to the mandates runs contrary to the feelings of many Catholics around the world who have serious moral objections to the COVID-19 injections currently on the market, citing the shots’ ties to abortion in testing and production.
Many also object to the notion that the injections should be mandated by governments or other authorities, rather than left up to individuals to make their own prudential judgement.
While a document put out by the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in December 2020 suggests the shots may be morally permissible despite their abortion connections, arguing that “[t]he moral duty to avoid such passive material cooperation is not obligatory if there is a grave danger,” the Vatican guidance explicitly forbids mandates, stating that “practical reason makes evident that vaccination is not, as a rule, a moral obligation and that, therefore, it must be voluntary.”
On September 10, just ahead of the implementation of the vaccine passport scheme, those Lithuanians not apathetic about it took to the streets of the nation’s capital to protest the walling off of much of society to the unjabbed.
According to Agence France Presse, police reported that roughly 5,000 people participated in the rally and two protesters were arrested.
Nonetheless, Lietuva explained that those in Lithuania who oppose the COVID pass “regime” are usually either ignored by the mainstream media or “caricatured by both the government and the media as far-right, anti-LGBT, conspiracy theorists, and neo-Nazis.”
“This social stigmatization of opponents works,” he said. “Opponents of vaccine mandates are muted with the label of ‘anti-vaxxers,’ which in our post-Soviet society is seen as a person who is irrationally fatalistic, mystical, illiterate, selfish, anti-modern, and anti-science.”
To date, those without a COVID pass can still gain entrance to “essential shops,” “[m]inor repair services and financial services” as long as contact with other people is no longer than 15 minutes, healthcare services, public transit, legal services, and education, including “pre-school, pre-primary, primary, basic, secondary education, initial vocational training, non-formal education of children, and educational assistance.” University students, however, must show a COVID pass to attend classes.
News of Lithuania’s entrance into a strict COVID pass regime comes as a litany of European Union member countries have also adopted the EUDCC or other similar digital passes, requiring citizens and travelers to show proof of vaccination, negative test, or recent recovery to access myriad public venues.
Some of the European nations enacting such restrictive measures are Austria, Belgium, Greece, Italy, France, and Germany.
Australia, which has made international headlines for its brutal enforcement of harsh policies allegedly implemented for the mitigation of COVID-19, is also embracing a so-called “vaccinated economy.”
In the Australian state of Victoria, Premier Dan Andrews said at a media briefing Monday: “Two doses, or you’re not getting in [to the state]. Two doses, or you’re not going to work. This is absolutely critical.”
Andrews added, “It will be in everybody’s interests, all of us, for the health and safety, for the health system, and of course to continue participating in the vaccinated economy — you will need to have a booster shot.”
Last week, New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern admitted in a press conference that she is seeking to impose medical segregation upon her country.
“You’ve basically said, and you probably don’t see it like this, but two different classes of people if you’re vaccinated or unvaccinated. If you’re vaccinated you have all these rights,” a journalist from the New Zealand Herald suggested.
Smiling, Ardern answered, “That is what it is. Yep.”