From: Joe Okwuofu, Ibadan.
Oyo State Chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has directed members to engage in multiple church services to meet up with the state government directives and safe lives of members.
Speaking with journalists in Ibadan on Thursday shortly after the state executive meeting, held at the state secretariat of the association, along Eleyele – Sango road, the new state chairman of Oyo CAN, Apostle Sola Joshua Akinyemiju, a retired army Colonel said the directive became necessary in order to operate at 25 percent capacity as directed by the state government .
While listing other measures recommended to the churches , the CAN Chairman thanked the state governor for acceding to the yearnings of the church .
“We appreciate the concern of the state government, likewise the efforts of governor Makinde towards driving the notorious pandemic out of the state. While appreciating the governor for allowing churches to worship at 25% capacity, Christians must endeavour to abide by all the government’s guidelines to that effect. We should remember that Holy Bible enjoins us in Heb 13:17 to “Obey those that have the rule over us,” Apostle Akinyemiju stated.
He said now that government has lifted ban on religious centres with few conditions attached, it behoves us as religious leaders to ensure absolute compliance to protect government from being blamed for its leniency.
“Our recommendation is, every worship centre with great number of worshipers should adopt multiple services to enable us observe physical distancing. Church can run more than three services in a day, hours per service must be reduced.
“Other measures necessary to be adhered to include, face mask to be used by every member throughout the service period. Observation of hand wash is necessary before entering the church and after the service. Alternatively, a pair of hand gloves should be handed to every member before entering the church, and remove after steeping out of the church. The gloves most be gathered outside the church and burnt immediately. Hand sanitizer is equally good, to be used by every member before and after service.
“It is necessary to add here that there are some churches that won’t find it easy to control cloud, in such situation, we advise service should be suspended for this moment to safe lives of worshipers. It is only the living that serves God. Special care should be provided for those above 50 years and children below 18 years.
“We shall be updating members as we receive more information from the state government, NCDC and WHO on the novel Coronavirus pandemic. We pray God Almighty to bestow His mercy upon us and purify our nation and the rest of the world with the blood of Jesus, amen,” Apostle Akinyemiju prayed.
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