Liberia Council Of Churches Calls For ‘Optional’ Resumption of Worship Services
Monrovia – The Liberia Council of Churches (LCC), through its President Bishop Kortu K. Brown has called on the leaderships of various denominations and churches to optionally resume regular Sunday worship services, despite a request from President George Manneh Weah, calling for the reopening of churches this Sunday, May 17.
Speaking when he extension the state of emergency for additional two weeks, President Weah on May 8, requested churches and mosques to recommence worship services on Sunday, May 17 or the Friday before for Muslims, but with a caution of ensuring that only 25% of each church or mosque’s membership attend services at a time.
Announcing the extension of the state of emergency which was declared to curb the spread of the Coronavirus in Liberia, President Weah also encouraged the leaderships of various churches and mosques operating in the country to hold multiple services in a bid to observe social distancing and avoid over-crowdedness at their respective places of worship.
Previously, the Liberian Chief Executive mandated the closure of all churches, and mosques, among others following the outbreak of Covid-19 in Liberia.
“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”.Rev. Kortu Brown, President, Liberia Council of Churches
But addressing a news conference in Brewerville on Friday, Rev. Brown pointed out that the resumption of normal regular worship services in churches across the country lies in the preview of churches and denominations.
“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”.
Rev. Brown added that any church or denomination desirous of opening its doors to the public for the holding of worship of prayer services should fully followed the compliance proposed by President Weah, including the promoting of social distancing and the allowing of only 25% of membership to attend each service at a time.
He maintained that leaders of all churches and denominations planning to commence regular religious activities beginning May 17, should continue to encourage their members and others to follow or observe social distancing at every level, and the wearing of nose masks in the public or working places, and during time of prayer and worship.
Rev. Brown further called on leaders, including Pastors and Priests of all churches in Liberia “to kindly encourage their membership to submit for collection of sample for testing to show confidence” in the process.
The Government of Liberia (GOL), has commenced the establishment of testing centers in the country to ensure the robust testing of citizens and others of Covid-19.
“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”.
Rev. Brown noted that the increase in the number of Covid-19 cases in the country remains a serious concern to the Christian community considering the impact on the lives and livelihoods of citizens, and as such, churches should remain in constant prayers at all times in order to defeat the Coronavirus.
He assured that the Church and other religious bodies will remain active and hopeful in relying on God for his intervention and healing on the nation and the world from the deadly pandemic.
Rev. Brown, however, called on all denominations, ministries and local churches to assiduously work together “to undermine the spread of the virus in Liberia which include compliance to all health protocols and the observance of hygienic regulations so as to avoid infection and transmission”.
The latest statement assertions made by the President of the Liberia Council of Churches (LCC) comes barely a day after several denominations of religious groups vowed not to resume regular worship and prayer activities on the date proposed by President Weah.
The denominations include Catholic, Bethel and the Pentecostal, amongst others.
In separate statements issued in Monrovia on Thursday, authorities of the three denominations observed that Coronavirus cases continue to rapidly increase in Liberia, and as such, there is no need to resume worship and prayer services in the wake of the current situation which prompted President Weah to initially take a decision to shut down churches and mosques in the country.