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Church reopening: CAN appeals for multiple services, children, others’ participation

The Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, Ekiti chapter, has appealed to the state government to permit the conduct of multiple services by churches as part of efforts to curtail the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The State Chairman of CAN, Rev. Fr. Peter Olowolafe, made the appeal in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria, (NAN) in Ado-Ekiti on Saturday.

Olowolafe also appealed for the review of COVID-19 protocols as they affect churches, adding that it is risky to leave children and elderly people above 65 years at home during church services.

Recall that the deadline for worship centres in the state to meet certain conditions before reopening for normal services expired on Friday.

NAN investigation showed that mosques on Friday commenced normal Juma’at prayers with full obedience to COVID-19 rules such as social distancing and washing of hands with water and sanitisers.

He said: “We’re also appealing to the government to allow full attendance and participation of children in church services as we have put in place a solid arrangement for them.

“Children are known to have separate arrangements for their church services; all we need to do is to ensure strict adherence to the laid down COVID-19 protocols and conditions.

“We, as leaders of churches in the state, want to assure the government that the granting of this appeal will not in any way jeopardise the efforts toward curbing the spread of COVID-19 in the state.

“We’re trying as much as possible to abide with the conditions, but leaving the children and the people above 65 years at home calls for a review.

“It’s risky leaving children at home. It’s like telling the parents not to come.

“Even in Lagos State, which is the epicentre of the pandemic in Nigeria, the governor has opened the church, and by Sunday, they can have multiple services.

“Our position is that in Ekiti State, having two hours service for people above 12 years and below 65 years, isn’t just enough.”

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