Ahead of the reopening of worship centers in Oyo State, the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in the state has recommended multiple services in all churches.
Speaking in Ibadan on Thursday,The new CAN Chairman in the state, Apostle Joshua Akinyemiju, disclosed this in Ibadan on Thursday at a news conference.
He said the measure was to fulfil the state government’s conditions on reopening of worship centers after the shut down occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Akinyemiju listed other recommended measures to include use of face masks and gloves as well as setting up of hand washing points.
He 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 per cent capacity, Christians must endeavour to abide by all the government’s guidelines to that effect.
“We should remember that the Bible enjoins us in Hebrew 13:17, to obey those that have the rule over us.
“Now that government has lifted the ban on religious centres with few conditions attached, it behoves on us as religious leaders to ensure absolute compliance to protect the government from being blamed for its leniency.
“Our recommendation is every worship centre with a great number of worshipers should adopt multiple services to enable us to observe physical distancing.
”Churches can run more than three services in a day, but hours per service must be reduced.”
The CAN chairman said every member must use face masks throughout the service period and wash their hands 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 removed after stepping out of the church.
“The gloves must be gathered outside the church and burnt immediately, hand sanitiser is equally good and 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 that services 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,” Akinyemiju said.
Oyo State Government had recently announced that worship centers could reopen in the state .
It, however, directed that they must not operate at more than 25 per cent capacity to curb the spread of COVID-19.