LIBERIA COUNCIL OF CHURCHES
15TH STREET, SINKOR
May 15, 2020
OFFICIAL STATEMENT OF THE LIBERIA COUNCIL OF CHURCHES ON THE RESUMPTION OF REGULAR WORSHIP SERVICES
“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble… The Lord Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress” Psalm 46:1 and 7
The Liberia Council of Churches (LCC) in ecumenical partnership with other para-church groups and Christian Organizations acknowledges the pronouncement by the President of the Republic of Liberia, His Excellency George M. Weah proposing the resumption of regular worship services commencing the third Sunday of this month, which is May 17, 2020.
The Liberia Council of Churches before and after the President’s pronouncement has had a series of [online] Zoom meetings with the Minister of Health, leaders of the United States Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the World Health Organization, amongst others, aimed at updating the Christian and religious communities on the performance of the virus in the country. The assessment to date reveals an increase in confirmed cases since worship centers were order closed on March 22, 2020 and the challenges posed to human security. This is a serious concern for the Christian community considering the impact of the virus on lives and livelihoods.
Nonetheless, the Church – and other religious bodies – remains active in prayer and hopeful reliance on the Almighty God for his intervention and healing of the nation and the world from this deadly pandemic, the Coronavirus or COVID-19.
The Liberia Council of Churches is therefore committed, and actively engaged, with all stakeholders including the Ministry of Health and partners to ensure that we limit the spread of the virus in the country. This week, through an Interreligious Council of Liberia (IRCL) partnership with the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF), about 500 volunteers will be fielded in eight (8) counties to help raise awareness on prevention and adherence to health protocols and provision of hygiene materials to help keep the people safe from the virus. Every denomination, ministry or local church must work together assiduously to undermine the spread of the virus in Liberia which includes compliance to all health protocols and observe all hygienic regulations so as to avoid infection and transmission.
Concerning the reopening of churches or resumption of worship services: Following the meetings with the health authorities and consultations within the Christian community, the Liberia Council of Churches presents to the following advisory to the Christian community, below:
- That reopening of churches or resumption of regular worship services should remain optional to every denomination or church based on the individual assessments of the situation. Whether a denomination or church desires to resume worship services and remain closed for the time being, the goal remains the same: TO LIMIT THE SPREAD OF THE VIRUS IN THE COUNTRY
- That in the event any church or denomination desires to open its doors to the public for worship and prayer, [they] should follow the 100% capacity compliance proposed by the President of Liberia and the upholding of all the regulations and health protocols laid down by the Ministry of Health, USCDC and the World Health Organizations
- That social distancing should be highly observed at all times about 5 feet at every levels
- That people should continue wearing nose masks at all times when in public and working places and during time of prayer and worship
- That every church pastor or leader of a congregation is requested to kindly encourage their membership to submit for collection of sample for testing to show confidence.
- The council encourages all political, clerical, civil society, private entity leaders to submit for sampling to show confidence and enhance the fight against the virus
The Council calls on all churches and people of faith to remain in constant prayers at all times in order to defeat Coronavirus from the Land. Let us in these difficult times also reflect on Psalm 46:8-11, and I quote, “Come, behold the works of the Lord, what desolations he hath made in the earth.9 He maketh wars to cease unto the end of the earth; he breaketh the bow, and cutteth the spear in sunder; he burneth the chariot in the fire. 10 Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.11 The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah.”
May God bless us and save us from this – and other infections and heal all those that are affected and our Land and people.
Signed: Bishop Kortu K. Brown