“Place Priority On Churches, Mosques Just As You Do For Work, School” – Religious Leaders
Some Religious Leaders in the country are calling on their congregants to place priority on their spiritual lives adding that the energy used to work during the wake of the covid-19 pandemic should also be channeled into the attendance of church, mosque and other places of worship.
According to the Religious Leaders, it is sad to see youths shying away from their Maker and rather wasting their lives on unnecessary behaviours and lifestyles.
In an exclusive interview with Thinknewsonline.com, the arish Priest of St. Andrew Anglican Church, Abossey-Okai, Rev’d Canon Okaijah-Bortier said “Christians do not worship God in convenience. Who says if you are in your house, you cannot contract the coronavirus pandemic? It will be too painful to say you won’t go to church but contract the virus and die”
He added that there is no sense shunning God whiles the world is facing lot of challenges aside the covid-19 pandemic.
The Anglican Parish Priest appealed to the youth take advantage of the easing of restrictions, to gather as a family and pray to God for divine intervention.
He said “It will please my heart to see more youths at church. They should form the greater part of the 100 people who have been given the opportunity to worship. If they are asked to go to school, won’t they go? They must not place premium on their school work and neglect their spiritual lives”
He appealed to other Religious Leaders to make good use of the six days to fumigate and disinfect their places of worship before allowing congregants to access them.
Speaking on the data collection of the congregants, he said “That will be very difficult because it is the private life of the individual but we will try and see if we can gather some vital information”
Resident Pastor at the Royal Victory Family Church, Kwabenya, Rev'd Dr. Charlotte Oduro hinted that the easing of restriction by President Akufo-Addo was a direction given to him by God.
She said “We have been praying for this day to come and it is finally here. If even the President says 5 people should go to church, we should consider that as a plus, meet and cry unto the Lord”
She also admitted that although the 100 is too little a number, the Resident Pastor mentioned that she is confident, the few will intercede for the nation in this difficult moment.
She advised other pastors and Islamic Leaders to spend at least 10 minutes out of the 1hr to educate and inform congregants on the need to stay safe and adhere to the social distance directive.
“In my church, we have various whatsapp groups and we are still communicating on who and who should represent the various guild or groups in the church. I am also in talks with a disinfection team who will fumigate my church before Sunday.”
Islamic Scholar, Dominic Yusif Mensah said “At my mosque, I have instructed the worshippers to come along with their own mats and pray on it”
He added that his mosque is always disinfected on daily basis adding that more stricter measures have been added to ensure the spread of the virus is reduced.
He appealed to the populace to have faith in the Almighty Allah adding that a cure will be discovered soon.
General Overseer, The Shiloh City Chapel, Pastor Kingsley Nana Kwasi Walker said “I am not happy about the easing of the restriction. How does government expect a church that has 14,000 capacity to start a service with 100 people?”
Speaking on the fumigation and disinfection of places of worship, he revealed that he doubts many churches will be sprayed.
He added that in as much as many called for the lifting of the ban on social gathering, most churches are not fully equipped to provide protection for members should a congregant contract the virus.
He said “If care is not taken, the number of people who will rush to church will be overwhelming because many people have missed church services. I think it was better to have locked us down than easing the restrictions. I live in Accra and don’t even know what fumigation is what of the pastor in a village?”
The Overseer of Shiloh City Chapel appealed to other Religious Leaders reconsider their decision on the re-opening of churches, mosque and other places of worship.
President Akufo-Addo on Sunday cautioned heads of the various religious bodies to ensure that it operates with a maximum of hundred (100) congregants to help prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus. According to President Akufo-Addo, the move will help revive the spirit of togetherness amongst congregants as they will fellowship as a family at the various places of worship. In his 10th address to the nation, President Akufo-Addo said “An abridged format for religious services can commence. Twenty-five percent (25%) attendance, with a maximum number of one hundred (100) can worship at a time in church or at the mosque” He explained that the 100 congregants at the various churches and mosques have worship with a mandatory one metre of social distancing between them.
Story by: Joshua Kwabena Smith