Benue State chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has suspended Sunday worship, weddings and other celebrations for two weeks until the spread of COVID-19 abates.
Chairman of CAN, Reverend Akpen Leva in an address to the Christian community warned that burials should also be restricted to only close family members of the deceased.
His words: “With effect from April 1, 2020, we will encourage Churches to enforce smaller units of congregational worships of not more than 50 persons. We also recommend suspension of Sunday services and masses for the next two weeks to monitor the situation.
“Christians are encouraged to continue with home devotions, as crusades, conventions, revivals, vigils, refresher courses and camps are hereby suspended until further directives. We can use online preaching, among other avenues.
“We advise proprietors of all mission-based and theological schools to comply with the state government directives by closing all Christian schools on or before March 27 (today).”
It urged Churches to observe safety measures prescribed by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and World Health Organisation (WHO) adding, “In this regard, Christians are advised to avoid touching their eyes, noses and mouths with unwashed hands.”
Meanwhile, its Kaduna State chapter has admonished people to ignore debates about the number of persons that should be in a religious gathering and obey government’s stay-at-home order.
Its Chairman, Reverend John Hayab, who stated this in a statement issued yesterday in Kaduna, noted that the body’s attention has been drawn to unnecessary debates going-on among members of the public about the fight against COVID-19.
He noted that the confusion was about how many people should be allowed in a gathering or meet at a religious function, adding, “Consequently, we in CAN wish to appeal to everyone to ignore the debates about numbers and obey the advice to stay at home.
“CAN strongly opposes the idea of exposing our members or their loved ones to contracting the deadly virus by holding large gatherings, justifying that the gatherings have only 10, 20 or 50 persons.”
It, therefore, appealed to all who love God and worshippers in the Church, that the best way to guide against the spread of Coronavirus was to close Churches for now and suspend all gatherings until the virus was brought under control.