The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has declared that the continuous COVID-19 lockdown order placed on worship centres by some states unacceptable and unreasonable.
The declaration was made on Tuesday by the President of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Rev. Samson Ayokunle, who called on state governments yet to reopen worship centres to do so immediately.
Rev. Ayokunle who made the call in a statement in Abuja issued by his Special Assistant, (Media and Communications), Pastor Adebayo Oladeji, said that the continued lockdown order on places of worship is no longer acceptable and reasonably justified.
The statement reads thus in full; “The President, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), His Eminence, Rev Dr Samson ‘Supo Ayokunle, on behalf of the Association, has called on all State governments that are yet to reopen churches under their watches to do so now because the continued lockdown order on the places of worship is no longer acceptable and reasonably justified.
“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 (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”.
He also appealed to the Lagos, Ogun and other state governments where churches are still under lockdown to: “relax it for God’s sake”.
Ayokunle said: “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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