SWITZERLAND, MAY 23 – The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has shed light on why churches should remain closed despite the growing pressure to reopen across many denominations.
Recall that churches and other religious centres were closed by the Federal Government to contain the spread of COVID-19.
However, many church leaders and members have been clamouring for the reopening of church buildings and resumption of worship activities.
The General Overseer of The Living Faith Ministries Worldwide otherwise known as Winners Chapel, Bishop David Oyedepo expressed his disapprobation on the issue saying that the continuous closure of churches when markets and other public institutions were reopened was suspicious.
Similarly the Founder of Christ Embassy, Pastor Chris Oyakhilome, also backed Oyedepo saying that there was a calculated attempt to weaken the growth of the church in Nigeria.
Yet, an official statement signed on Friday by the CAN President, Rev Supo Ayokunle, said it was not yet time for churches to reopen.
Ayokunle mentioned that cases have been on a steady rise owing to the relaxation of the lockdown.
According to him “The above relaxation has, on the other hand, increased the pressure mounted on us, church leaders, from our members for the churches and other places of worship to be opened.
“Champions for the reopening of worship centres argue that if people had contracted the virus in the markets and other places, closing the church from worshipping becomes unreasonable!
“It is like using medicine after death! Furthermore, the church is more organised and a place of healing.”
Despite these, the CAN President urged all churches to remain closed because the daily increase in the number of infections in Nigeria is dangerous for the survival of all.
He called for caution among churches for reopening, saying “the church needs to exercise restraint at this time so that we might not naively and overzealously plunge our members into regrettable destruction and sorrow.”