‘Shut down churches if the move will check spread of COVID-19,’ Ighodalo tells government | Ripples Nigeria
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‘Shut down churches if the move will check spread of COVID-19,’ Ighodalo tells government

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The Senior Pastor of Lagos-based church, Trinity House, Ituah Ighodalo, has advised governments at all levels to shut down churches if the measure would help Nigeria to check the rising cases of COVID-19.

Ighodalo, who made the call when he featured in a programme on Arise TV on Monday, however, stressed that churches, especially large ones, should not be blamed for the rising cases of COVID-19 in the country.

He said most churches have been complying with the COVID-19 protocols, adding that the government should focus more on markets and other public places.

Several states including Lagos and Kaduna had last week re-introduced restriction in worship centres in a bid to check the spread of the virus.

Ighodalo said: “If we need to. There is nothing sacrosanct about a religious house; a religious house is a gathering of people seeking to worship God. If that gathering and that intimacy in the gathering will lead to the spread of germs or disease, God, because you want to worship Him, would not say that the physical things that you need to do should not be done.

Read also: Pastor Ituah Ighodalo loses wife, Ibidun

“So, if we need to shut down the churches, why not? Churches were shut down several months ago. We didn’t die, we survived. The churches learnt to go online, on Zoom. Christianity benefited from it because we now began to use more technology to offer our evangelism and our worship of God and we quite enjoyed it.

“The Zoom meetings are not as intimate but we have managed to reduce things to house fellowships and life must go on.”

“To speak to the issue as to whether churches are the ones who have not allowed COVID-19 cases to go down or who are the ones going against COVID-19 protocols, I regret to say I don’t quite agree. I think the government has bigger fishes to fry –If you go to any of the markets, any of the bus stops, any of the busy places, people don’t even wear masks. So, those gatherings of people are much more than the gathering in any church from time to time.

“In fairness to most churches, they have tried. A few no doubt have flouted the rules here and there but most of them have tried to keep to the COVID-19 protocols. So, it is not fair to say that it is the big churches that are flouting COVID-19 guidelines.”

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