The Oyo State chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) on Thursday recommended multiple services for all churches in the state.
Slim Xclusive gathered that Governor Seyi Makinde of the state had on Monday ordered reopening of mosques and churches, which are to operate at 25 per cent capacity.
Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr. Taiwo Adisa in a statement made available to Slim Xclusive noted that mosques and churches are to operate at 25 per cent capacity.
“Decisions reached include the resumption of classes for Primary Six, JSS3 and SS3 students from Monday, June 29; resumption of work by all category of workers at the state secretariat from June 22; opening up of mosques and churches, which are to operate at 25 per cent capacity; and the decision to limit public gathering to not more than 25 persons.”
But, CAN Chairman, Pastor Sola Akinyemiju, in an interview with journalists, listed other measures recommended to the churches.
He spoke shortly after the state executive council of the association.
Akinyemiju who noted that CAN appreciates the concern of the state government, adding that, every worship centre with large number of worshipers should adopt multiple services to enable them observe physical distancing.
He advised that churches can run more than three services in a day while hours per service must be reduced.
Akinyemiju said, “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.
“Now that government has lifted ban on religious centres with few conditions attached, it behoves on 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 stepping 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 crowd, in such situation, we advise service should be suspended for this moment to save 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”.