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CAN demands immediate reopening of churches nationwide

The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has called for the immediate reopening of churches nationwide, especially in states where places of worship were still shut. President of CAN, Rev. Samson Ayokunle, who made the call yesterday in Abuja, said the continued lockdown order on places of worship in some states, including Lagos and Ogun states, was no longer acceptable and reasonably justified, given the unrestricted movements in public places like markets. Ayokunle queried why some states would decide not to allow churches reopen for services even after the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 had given a directive for reopening of worship places nationwide and also recently, a directive to reopen other sectors of the economy.

His words: “Despite the directive given by the PTF on COVID-19 with regards to the re-opening of places of worship nationwide, some states like Lagos and Ogun are yet to allow worship places, especially churches, to be reopened. What sin have the places of worship committed? “With the sudden emergence of the coronavirus pandemic, the leadership of CAN at all levels, agreed with the government on the need to close down the places of worship, economy, schools and every other facet of life.

“But with the reopening of the economy, especially the markets, both organized and the unorganised markets along with the plan to reopen airports and schools, the closure of churches anywhere in the country is no longer tenable and acceptable.

“In what way are the opened and road side markets more organized than the church which warranted their opening? Is it not our members in the places of worship that do go to markets and other sectors opened? Why are they allowed to go to markets and disallowed from going to places of worship? Is it because the marketers cannot contact the virus in the markets and airports? “It is our opinion that while the government and other relevant stakeholders are working hard to get cure for the COVID-19 pandemic, the church too has a role to play by seeking for divine solutions as well.

“CAN appeals to the Lagos, Ogun and other state governments where churches are still under lockdown to relax it for God’s sake. As much as we believe that COVID-19 deserves attention, it is our belief that the affected state governments would not turn a deaf ear to our quest, but allow worship to return to places of worship.”

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