The Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN has called on the Lagos State Government to reopen churches in the state, stressing that churches have a spiritual role to play in curbing Covid-19.
The Christian body also asked the Ogun State Government as well as other states yet to do so to reopen worship centres, saying, “the continued lockdown order on the places of worship is no longer acceptable and reasonably justified”.
This was contained in a statement issued on Tuesday by Adebayo Oladeji, Special Assistant on Media and Communications to CAN President, Samson Ayokunle.
The Federal Government had in March ordered the closure of religious centres as part of measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus disease.
But CAN argued that despite the directive on the reopening of religious centres in the country by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, the states were yet to comply.
“Despite the directive given by the Presidential Task Force 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 the Christian Association of Nigeria 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 organised 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 roadside markets more organised 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?”
The apex Christian association in the country said while scientists and researchers are working to produce a vaccine for the COVID-19, the church has spiritual role to play in the fight against the pandemic.