CAN mounts pressure on Lagos, Ogun, others to reopen churches

The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has called on authorities in Lagos, Ogun, and other states where churches are still on lockdown to permit the resumption of activities in places of worship.

CAN President, Reverend Samson Ayokunle, made the call in a statement on Tuesday by his Special Assistant on Media and Communications, Pastor Adebayo Oladeji.

He believes the continued lockdown order on the places of worship in the country is no longer acceptable and cannot be reasonably justified.

“Despite the directive given by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 with regards to the reopening of places of worship nationwide, some states like Lagos and Ogun are yet to allow worship places, especially churches, to be reopened. What sin have the places of worship committed?” he questioned.

Ayokunle added, “CAN appeals to the Lagos, Ogun and other state governments where churches are still under lockdown to relax it for God’s sake.

“As much as we believe that COVID-19 deserves attention, it is our belief that the affected state governments would not turn a deaf ear to our quest but allow worship to return to places of worship.”

He noted that the leadership of CAN at all levels had agreed with the government on the need to close down places of worship, economy, schools, and every other facet of life following the sudden emergence of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The CAN President, however, said with the reopening of the economy, especially the markets – both organised and the unorganised markets – along with the plan to reopen airports and schools, the closure of churches anywhere in the country was no longer tenable and acceptable.

He queried, “In what way are the opened and roadside markets more organised than the church which warranted their opening; is it not our members in the places of worship that do go to markets and other sectors opened?

“Why are they allowed to go to markets and disallowed from going to places of worship; is it because the marketers cannot contract the virus in the markets and airports?”

According to Ayokunle, it is the opinion of the Christian body that while the government and other relevant stakeholders are working hard to get a cure for COVID-19, the church too has a role to play by seeking divine solutions as well.

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