Liberian Churches Agree to Close Worship Centers -LCC Wants Christians Remain in Prayer Attitudes at Home
There have been isolated cases of resistance on the part of some Christian churches towards government’s call for them to stop congregational worships in respect to COVID-19 regulations. Police had to practically break up worship centers to the annoyance of the worshippers, causing reasonable stampedes.
But on Friday, March 27, 20202, the Liberia Council of Churches (LCC) in ecumenical partnership with other para church groups, denominations and Christian organizations held a conclusive meeting over the last three days on the conditions and [health emergency] actions taken by the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Liberia to order the closure of churches due to the 3rd confirmed case of Coronavirus in Liberia.
During the meeting, the Church Heads and leaders, resolved to halt all congregational worships. The decision finally comes after a careful study of the situation with a focus on the health and wellbeing of the people, acknowledging the partnership with the government of the Republic of Liberia, and accepting the apology of the government of Liberia through the Minister of Justice, Inspector General of Police and the Minister of Health on the manner in which some worship services were shut down and the actions taken against some churches during the closure exercises on Sunday, March 22, 2020.
According to the Liberia Council of Churches, participating Churches have agreed to suspend worship services for the three Sundays laid down in the health emergency declaration by the Minister of Health.
The three Sundays, in accordance with the Ministry of Health 21-day declaration include March 22, March 29 and April 5, 2020, and during that period, the LCC calls on all it members, especially Pastors and prayer teams, to remain in the attitude of prayer for the defeat of the virus.
According to the LCC, the church will work with the government to ensure that awareness and promotion of preventive measures are carried out on the severity of the Coronavirus.
The Government through the Minister of Health, according to an LCC release, has re-iterated that the health emergency is declared for now only in Montserrado and Margibi counties, and therefore other churches in the remaining counties are encouraged to open their doors to the public for worship and prayers observing the health protocols that include: wash your hands, do not shake hands, practice social distancing, check attendants temperature, provide awareness to your members on the virus, amongst others
The LCC also says that the government will inform its local authorities including the Police in the various counties not under the health emergency to stop frightening the churches in areas outside Monsterrado and Margibi Counties.
The LCC calls on all churches to abide by the protocols laid down by the Ministry of Health and the National Public Health Institute of Liberia supported by the World Health Organization and the Center for Disease and Control.
“We are looking forward to a strong partnership with the Government of Liberia in ensuring public safety including avoiding large gatherings at the church and in all sectors until this pandemic is defeated in Liberia,” said the LCC release signed by its President, Bishop Kortu K. Brown.