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COVID-19: CAN calls for suspension of church activities in Kaduna
IN a bid to contain the spread of novel coronavirus in Nigeria, the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) chapter in Kaduna State on Thursday has called for the suspension of all church activities for the safety of its brethren.
The directives come on the heels of 12 confirmed cases of the virus in Nigeria.
The Kaduna chairman, CAN, Joseph Hayab in a statement advised that the duration of church services should also be shortened except for necessities.
According to him, the church has a role to play, to sensitize its members on preventive measures to take on and encourage the use of hand sanitizers, by providing for one at the entrance of the church.
Hayab said despite Christians’ belief in the power of prayers, it was important to observe global standards for prevention, adding that church leaders could adopt bringing in health workers to the church to test members with genuine equipment for overall safety.
“The church in Nigeria, therefore, should not be ignorant of this global pandemic. The church, as a school of faith, which is known for having large gatherings for church services, wedding, burial, prayer meetings, crusades and revival services must endeavour to join forces with government and health workers to stop the spread of this virus.
“Our role must not just be to pray but we must be seen taking concrete steps for the well being of our flocks and the country at large,” Hayab said.
The state chapter thereafter made appeal to worship leaders, to read through official guidelines and information about the virus, then educate their members.
Relatively, the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) had also directed all its parishes in Lagos and Ogun states to limit the number of persons in one service, to 50.
The RCCG assistant general-overseer of administration and personnel, Folorunsho Odesola in a memo said parishes with an average attendance of 50 members or less can hold their service without making any changes.
“Parishes that have the facility to run more than one service can also do so, under the strict directive that worshippers won’t exceed 50 people per service,” he said.
Also, the Ansar ud deen Society of Nigeria had suspended mosque activities also involving more than 50 people. Activities such as the Jum’ah prayers and any gathering of up to 50 people were suspended by the group indefinitely.
“This decision was informed by the menacing spread of the novel coronavirus(COVID-19) and Fatwa by World Islamic bodies taking cognisance of the Islamic principles of ‘preservation of life’, ‘prevention of harm’, and ‘proactive response to impending danger’.
“The society shall abide by government recommendations and update members and mosque users of any change in the suspension decision.
“We acknowledge that many of our members and mosque users might find this unprecedented decision very uncomfortable, we should please be reassured that this is for the good of the community and it is in compliance with the Islamic response to epidemic pandemic,” the group said.