Churches hold services in Osogbo after weeks of COVID-19 lockdown -


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Sunday, 7 June 2020

Churches hold services in Osogbo after weeks of COVID-19 lockdown

Churches in Osogbo on Sunday held services following Osun Government’s lifting of the ban on closure of worship centres in the state.
Churches hold services in Osogbo after weeks of COVID-19 lockdown. (TheWill)

News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that Osun government had on Wednesday ordered the reopening of religious centres for two weeks, after meeting with religious leaders in the state.

That state government, however, directed that all churches and mosques premises be fumigated and that worshipers kept reasonable space distance.

It also directed that no worship centre should be filled to capacity during any service, and that thermometers, washing facilities or sanitisers must be provided for worshipers.

NAN correspondent’s visit to Christ Apostolic Church, Latona, Osogbo, revealed that the government’s directives were fully complied with as thermometers were used on worshippers.

They were also made to wash their hands with soap and water before entering the church for service.

Those without face masks were equally not allowed into the church, in compliance with the state government’s directive.

Speaking to NAN correspondent after the service, the presiding pastor, Gideon Obiwale, said the church ensured worshipers/members complied with government’s directives so as not to give room for sanctions.

“We know the two weeks given for churches to open is just a test and we will ensure that we comply with their directives.

“We have made sure to follow the government’s guidelines.

“So people without facemasks were not allowed to enter into the church and, as well, we made sure there was relative space in the sitting arrangement.

He said that after the two weeks, he believed the state government would take further decision that would be favourable to the church of God after the church too followed fully the guidelines given for services to hold.

NAN observed that other churches such as Union Baptist Church, Osogbo and Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), Breakforth Parish, Odi-Olowo, Osogbo, complied with the guidelines.

They observed using face masks, washing of hands and conducting one hour service, as laid down by the state government.

Thermometers were also used to take the body temperature of worshippers at the churches’ entrances before they were allowed into the church to worship, while health officials were also on ground.

The pastor in charge of RCCG Breakforth Parish, Pastor Olagunju Abiodun, said: “I want to thank God and the government for opening the church for us, we are grateful.

“To the glory of God, we were able to adhere to the directives of the government as infrared thermometer was made available to check worshipers before entering the church.

“Alcohol-based hand sanitisers were available and social distancing was maintained throughout the service.

“The one hour service isn’t enough because we couldn’t conduct Sunday school and there were no children classes but we do not have an option than to comply with the directives because we know this time will soon pass.

“We, however, want government to help extend the time to one hour 30 minutes to two hours since majority of the churches complied with the directives,” he said.

He appealed to residents and worshipers to continue to comply with the guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19, saying most importantly, they should pray more, because prayers can settle all things

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