Botswana: Association Urges Churches to Adhere to Protocols

Kanye — Kanye ministers' fraternal chairperson Bishop Vivian Masibi has implored churches to adhere to COVID-19 protocol and regulations to ensure safety of congregants.

She told BOPA in an interview that though it is imperative to fellowship, adherence to prescribed health precautions remained critical.

Bishop Masibi said churches provided spiritual guidance for the nation as well as conducted counselling sessions thus they should be exemplary in the fight against COVID-19.

He said it would be embarrassing for houses of worship to disregard such protocols and regulations.

She shared that congregants were pivotal in socio-economic development of the country thus losing them to COVID-19 would create a vacuum in pressing forward goals and aspirations of the country for a better Botswana.

Pastors should avoid touching congregants with hands when conducting benedictions and prayers as that may spread the disease, she advised, adding any form of contact between persons should be avoided at places of fellowship .

She said pastors and their congregations should always ensure that they wear protective masks as well as maintaining social distancing.

She said pointed that they must also adhere to the prescribed number of 50 people per fellowship on weekends and midweek services and that fellowship should be conducted twice a week.

Bishop Masibi further advised that worshipers should attend church services on alternate basis so as to give each other a chance of fellowshipping.

Bishop Masibi said Kanye ministers' fraternal would inspect churches in its area of jurisdiction to ensure churches adhere to protocols, warning any house of worship that would be found to be breaching the protocols and regulations would be reported to relevant authorities for appropriate measures of which consequences could be closure.

Churches should form COVID-19 teams in their areas of worship to facilitate adherence to protocol and regulations, she advised.

She urged traditional churches that use rods and religious sticks to ensure that they sanitise them before usage or to refrain from such a practice until the scourge is over as it had potential to spread the disease.

She observed that there was a tradition in some places of worship for congregants to remove shoes in places believed to be consecrated warning it was a risky practice as it might spread the pandemic.

She pleaded with churches to pray hard for the pandemic noting this was the time to seek the face of God more and to uphold the commandments and ordinances of the Lord.

To cement her point, she quoted the Bible, II Chronicles 7:14 that 'if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.'

She also advised against young children attending church service at this time to avoid exposing them to the virus.

On other issues she implored pastors to pledge P50 for COVID-19 relief fund, and called on churches to subscribe for membership in ministers' fraternal.

Bishop Masibi encouraged those that were not yet members to join the association.

She said such a move would help churches to speak with one voice on issues religion and other forms of developments that would impact positively to the masses.

<i>Source : BOPA</i>

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