The Senior Pastor of Trinity House, Ituah Ighodalo, has called on the Federal and State Governments to shut down churches if the measure would help control the increase in COVID-19 cases in the country.
The cleric, however, disagreed with the belief that churches are responsible for the rise in Coronavirus cases in Nigeria.
Pastor Ighodalo while speaking on Arise TV charged government to focus on places like markets and bus stops.
The cleric when asked whether the government should also shut down churches again, said, “If we need to. There is nothing sacrosanct about a religious house; a religious house is a gathering of people wanting 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.”
“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 of 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.”
He, however, noted that most churches adhere with COVID-19 protocols put in place by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19.
He said, “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 protocols…So, it is not fair to say that it is the big churches that are flouting Covid guidelines.”
Ighodalo also urged the leadership of churches not to feel persecuted if the government decides to close churches to curb the rising coronavirus infections amid the second wave of the pandemic.
“No church should feel the government is against them. No, we are a social gathering. The same was the government is against night clubs, event centres and so on. It is nothing personal and I don’t take it personally. I think we are in a moment of crisis and if the churches need to pay some price and go through some situations, let’s do it,” he said.
Ighodalo advised Christians and Nigerians, in general, to trust in God to overcome the situation while observing all preventive guidelines by health authorities.
Source: Naija News