The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has explained why churches should remain closed despite mounting pressure in many quarters for their re-opening.
Churches and other religious centres were closed by the Federal Government to contain the spread of COVID-19.
But there had been pressures from many church leaders and members for the reopening of churches.
General Overseer of The Living Faith Ministries Worldwide otherwise known as Winners Chapel, Bishop David Oyedepo, had fired the first salvo, saying the continuous closure of churches when markets and other public institutions were reopened was suspicious.
Founder of Christ Embassy, Pastor Chris Oyakhilome, also backed him, saying there was a calculated attempt to weaken the growth of the church in Nigeria.
But, in an official statement, he personally signed on Friday, CAN President, Rev Supo Ayokunle, said it was not yet time for churches to reopen.
According to him, the relaxation of lockdown had seen the country witness more coronavirus infection.
Ayokunle said: “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 urge “all churches to remain closed because the daily increasing infected people in Nigeria is dangerous for the survival of us all.”
He called for caution among churches for reopening, saying “the church needs to exercise restrain at this time so that we might not naively and overzealously plunge our members into regrettable destruction and sorrow.”
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