Some churches across the country have commenced services amidst low attendance after government eased the coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions on May 31.
Meanwhile, some churches have decided to remain closed until the end of June to give them adequate time to prepare to meet the guidelines given by the government.
Some places of worship including the Global Evangelical Church, the Church of Pentecost, International Central Gospel Church (ICGC) and Evangelical Presbyterian Church in Abeka, Odorkor and Kwashieman did not open for service.
A visit by the Ghanaian Times to some churches in the Greater Accra Region yesterday saw churches strictly adhering to the directives given by the Minister of Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs, Kofi Dzamesi on Monday June 1.
At the Kings Palace Christian Centre in Odorkor, only 30 out of the about 200 members came to church.
The Pastor in-charge, John Sankah said the dwindling numbers was due to the long stay at home, absence of children service as well as many renowned churches not holding service.
He said some parents would also not want to leave their children at home as they might not have anyone taking care of them.
At the Liberty Centre Assemblies of God Church in Abeka, three services were held due to the large number of members with 100 congregants worshipping per hour.
Other halls at the church premises were used as sermons were telecast live for members in those halls.
In all the churches visited, members were seen washing and sanitising their hands and various entry points of the church.
Also, details of members including their names and telephone numbers were taken as well as their temperatures by protocol officers who had been assigned at the entry points.
Within the one hour service, church members were spotted in their face or nose masks singing and dancing, giving their offertory, tithes and praying for the nation.
Other churches visited by the paper included the Positive Gospel International, Cross Gates, and Believers Temple Assemblies of God in Abeka and Awoshie.
Speaking to the Ghanaian Times after its second service, the General Treasurer of Assemblies of God Ghana, Rev Dr Sam Ato Bentil said though the church anticipated the re-opening of churches, the attendance limit was not expected.
He said the church had complied with all the guidelines given by government adding that “with the number of membership running into thousands, we decided to family group leaders to educate the members on the guidelines given by the government.”
The head pastor of Liberty Centre Assemblies of God church said a good number of the members had responded and urged members to continue to adhere to the COVID-19 protocols at home and wherever they found themselves.
In the President’s 10th update on Ghana’s response to the coronavirus pandemic last week, said churches was to start on Saturday June 6 with the Adventists and other Christians groups on Sunday June 7with 25 per cent attendance with a maximum number of 100 congregants worshipping at a time for an hour.
BY JEMIMA ESINAM KUATSINU AND FRANCIS NTOW