Benue State chapter of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has ordered the suspension of Sunday worship and wedding ceremony as from the beginning of April, 2020.
According to the state chairman of CAN, Rev. Akpen Leva the directive is taking effect as from April due to the importance of the week-long fasting and prayer session organized by the body in conjunction with the state government.
Rev. Leva also said that the Christian body had resolved that the burial ceremony should only be attended by the close family of the deceased.
‘We wish to say that with effect from 1st April, 2020, we recommend the suspension of Sunday services and masses for the next two weeks to monitor the situation.
“Christians are encouraged to continue with home devotions. Crusades, conventions, revivals, vigils, refresher courses, Para church camps are hereby suspended until further directives. We can go ahead with online preaching among other avenues.
“We urge the Clergies to suspend the sign of peace which normally involves shaking of hands and hugging in some churches and even outside the church.
”Social distance of one meter or three feet is therefore recommended.
“Administration of Holy Communion should be on the palms and carefully done to avoid touching the recipients.
“Pastoral care and hospital visits should be administered with the utmost precautions. Use of alcohol-based hand sanitizers before and after, wash hands thoroughly with soap and water often.
“Burials should be restricted to only close family members of the deceased. Weddings and social celebrations are to be suspended until the situation improves.
To the public, CAN urged people to observe strictly the health conditions as prescribed by the National Centre for Disease Control and the World Health Organization. In this regard, you are advised to avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
“Personal protective equipment including hand sanitizers, face masks, hand washing fonts with liquid soap dispensers to be provided. Thus, hand sanitizers should be handy at every church entrance.
“Endeavour to cover your mouth and nose with handkerchiefs or bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze, and dispose of the tissue immediately. In case you have fever, cough or difficulty in breathing, seek medical advice immediately.
“We urge you to please isolate yourself at home within this period. Avoid going out unless when necessary. Prevention is a hundred times better than cure!
The CAN chairman, however, appealed to the standing committee on COVID-19 and the state government to cooperate with the church by providing the needful so that the spread of COVID-19 can be effectively controlled in the state.
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