Church leaders have reacted to guidelines given to churches by Lagos State government for reopening on June 21.
Senior Pastor of Latter Rain Assembly, Lagos, Tunde Bakare; Catholic Archbishop of Lagos, Most Rev. Dr. Alfred Adewale Martins; Primate, Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion, Most Rev. Dr. Henry Ndukuba; Senior Pastor of the Household of God Church, Oregun, Lagos, Rev. Chris Okotie and Prelate, Methodist Church Nigeria, His Eminence, Dr. Samuel Uche, all spoke on the issue.
Bakare commended Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s efforts in fight against Coronavirus.
He advised church leaders to comply with government’s regulations and told those who cannot effectively carry out given guidelines, “it is better they stay at home and continue to reach their members through online services.”
Bakare said he chose not to resume services yet, until he hears from God, arguing that his members run into thousands and to segment the services to 500 members would be a Herculean task.
Martins noted that the virus was still very much in Nigeria and whatever decision taken by leaders was to ensure that peoples’ lives were not put in jeopardy.
“I think we should continue to seek ways of ensuring that we keep safe. One just needs to reflect on it to be able to find a perfect balance. I think it is important that we take safety of people, as well as the need to continue to carry on with life, despite the challenges,” Martins said.
Ndukuba pleaded with Christians to endure whatever inconveniences, saying: “These measures will not be forever. We should make a start and see how we can go. The government is doing its best to see that lives are safe. Church leaders will be encouraged to see that necessary things are done.”
Okotie, who rejected the latest guidelines, said: “Our doors will remain closed until these profanation and secularisation have been pulverised by the Emperor of heaven.”
He blamed the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) for proposing similar guidelines and argued that government is not in a position to reorder worship in God’s house.
Uche said they were yet to study the conditions proposed by the state government and that CAN was yet to look into the matter. He lauded Sanwo-Olu’s efforts, saying they would meet and have a common position on the issue.