*Opts for online preaching
From Cephas Iorhemen, Makurdi
As the deadly coronavirus pandemic continues to spread in states of the federation, Benue State chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) Thursday announced the suspension of all Sunday worships and wedding ceremonies across the 23 local government areas of the state until the situation improves.
Though, no case of Covid-19 has been recorded in the state, Chairman of the association, Rev. Akpen Leva, said in a statement, that the gesture was to comply fully with the directives of the national body and the state in curtailing the spread of the virus.
Rev. Leva stated that as from April 1, the association will encourage churches to enforce smaller units of congregational worships of not more than 50 people.
He said: “We also recommend the suspension of Sunday services and masses for the next two weeks to monitor the situation. Christians are encouraged to continue with home devotions, crusades, conventions, revivals, vigils, refresher courses, para church camps are hereby suspended until further directives. We can go ahead with online preaching among other avenues.”
He advised proprietors of all mission-based schools and theological schools as well to comply with the state government directives by closing all Christian schools on or before March 27.
The CAN Chairman implored clergymen to suspend the sign of peace which normally involves shaking of hands and hugging in some churches and even outside the church, and recommended social distancing of one meter or three feet.
Rev. Leva, who warned that administration of Holy Communion should be on the palms and carefully done as to avoid touching the recipients, added that all pastoral care and hospital visits should be administered with utmost precautions.