Nigeria: Bakare Cautions Against Reopening of Churches

3 August 2020

The Overseer of the Citadel Global Community Church (CGCC), Pastor Tunde Bakare, has warned against the re-opening of churches as directed by the Lagos State Government in spite of the ravaging COVID-19 pandemic "in order to avoid driving Christians like sheep to the slaughter houses by trooping to churches."

Bakare gave this warning yesterday during the CGCC's (formerly known as the Latter Rain Assembly) online Sunday worship.

He said: "I have to appeal to you once again, please keep safe and do your best to stay alive. Do not let anyone, whether religious or governmental leader, to drive you like a sheep to the slaughter. If they (the government and the disease control authorities) said the month of August is going to be the peak of the infection, why should they ask people to rush in (re-open the churches) again. Please keep safe and do your best to keep alive by keeping all the necessary rules. We know that by the grace of God this pandemic, like the others before it, has an expiry date. It shall not see our end. We shall see its end in the mighty name of Jesus."

The pastor said even though the government has the right to shut the churches, it does not have the right to force the people to re-open the worship centres.

He said the state government might have caved in to pressures from religious leaders to lift the ban it earlier placed on public religious gatherings.

His warning followed the Lagos State Government's lifting of the ban on public religious worships, which it placed on religious gathering since March 2020 to check the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The state government recently announced that public religious worships by the Muslims and Christians in the state would commence from August 7 and August 9, 2020, respectively.

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