Archbishop of the Enugu Province and Bishop of Enugu Anglican Diocese, Most Rev. Emmanuel Chukwuma, yesterday, said the Province will not shut any of its branches over Coronavirus pandemic.
Chukwuma who faulted the order of government for churches and places of worship not to open, said it was unfortunate and wrong to categorise church and worship centres with drinking palours, night clubs, markets and companies.
The cleric said he would not shut the churches because he is not the owner, as the church belongs to Jesus Christ, adding that if people were stopped from “running to their God in worship in a time like now the whole world was confusion, where would they run to for safety, help and deliverance?”
He said shutting the church in a trying time like the one faced by the country would mean giving the devil opportunity to ravage the people and the country.
Warning that attacking the church will not bring solution but worsen what we were faced with already, Chukwuma advised that there was need for the country to continue to seek divine solution to the challenge of COVID-19.
The Archbishop, who was reacting to the disruption of worship of some Anglican churches in Enugu, warned security operatives to stop forcing members of the Anglican Church from worshipping in their church buildings, insisting that he had ensured that all hygienic protocols and social distancing practices were kept for the good of the people.
“I have told them (Police) not to try it again unless they want more trouble for themselves and their families. There is no way you can ask the church of God to stop when we need prayers to bring healing upon the land, especially when we are faced with a problem as serious as coronavirus that has defied every human solution.
“It is wrong on the government to send police after worshippers. I think if they are serious, what they should do is to ensure that the hygiene protocol is kept, that the social distancing order is also kept, while encouraging those at the altar to pray the country out (of the pandemic). What can man do under this circumstance without God? What can even the President or our scientists do in this trying time without God? It is wrong for people to think that we will not find answers to what has befallen us through prayers. So, I want to warn that whoever is behind the disruption should stop in his own interest.
“The last thing I will do at this time is to close the doors of my church building. In my Cathedral, we worshipped today and we will observe all the Palm Sunday and Easter activities. I will worship on Monaday, Thursday as well as the Easter Sunday. It will be sad on anybody who tried to stop us because. We’re doing what we are supposed to do.