Churches, Mosques have critical roles to play in combating COVID-19

As the deadly coronavirus continue to pose a threat to the existence of mankind and dangerous to ignore, governments around the globe, have taken unprecedented steps to cancel religious activities in many parts of the world.

Not only that, religious bodies themselves have also decided to change the way they do things in an effort to contain the spread of COVID- 19.

In Ghana, many of the churches and mosques in line with the President Nana Addo Dankwa’s directive, have cancelled all worship and activities that would require that members to congregate to perform such action.

In addition, they have dropped greetings like handshakes and hugs for elbow bumps and foot shakes. Catholic churches for instance have changed the way they carry out Mass.

Priests now place the ‘bread’ in people’s hands rather than on their tongues, and have stopped giving wine in the communal chalice.

Instead of shaking hands during the sign of peace, members of the congregation are being asked simply to pray for the person sitting next to them in an effort to stop infection.

Although doing the sign of peace and taking communion in the mouth are basically part of the Mass, Catholics would temporally have to forfeit that in the larger interest of protecting everyone from COVID-19.

Worshippers at Mosques across the country have also been advised by the National Chief Imam, Sheikh Osman Nuhu Sharubutu, to suspend congregational prayers in line with the protocols announced by the government to combat the spread of the coronavirus disease.

The measure, he said should be adhered to by Muslims because it was well grounded in Islamic principles of promoting good health and preservation of life.

Although these are huge sacrifices the faith based organisations are willingly ready to make so that we can contain the disease, the President Nana Akufo-Addo, also asked them to pray for God’s intercession over the disease.

At a prayer session held yesterday with some eminent clergy at the Jubilee House in Accra, the President joined them to pray for the country, victims of the disease in the country, health workers, the government, the President, as well as the world. 

He stressed the need for the country, especially the Christian community to rise and pray for the nation and the world 

“These are not ordinary times, Eminent Clergy, and in such times, a country whose population is predominantly Christian, must seek the face of the One True God for healing and restoration”

“So, I, humbly, called you to this prayer meeting for us to join together and pray to Almighty God to protect our nation, heal this land and save us from this pandemic”, President Akufo-Addo said. 

No doubt, the role of the church at this critical hour is very important. The church as we are aware is key in national development and it contribution to the wellbeing of the people cannot be underestimated.

We laud the President for inviting them to seek the face of God as we combat the deadly disease which is claiming lives all across the world. We are hopeful that the prayers together with the efforts being made to combat the disease would surely save us from pandemic. 

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