Churches to comply with govt directive to shut down

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Harare – Zimbabwean churches will comply with a Government’s directive to suspend mass gatherings as part of measures to control and prevent the transmission of Covid-19 according to a report carried by state newspaper Herald, which spoke to Zimbabwe Council of Churches.

In a statement, Zimbabwe Council of Churches (ZCC) general secretary Reverend Dr Kenneth Mtata said all mass gatherings have been suspended and all meetings will be held virtually.

“Although there have been no confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Zimbabwe, the old adage “prevention is better than cure” is important in curbing an outbreak of this pandemic.

“ZCC planned mass gatherings have all been suspended in the interest of public health until further notice. Where possible, virtual meetings will replace physical meetings,” he said.

General Council of the Assemblies of God has cancelled Easter conferences and big Sundays.

“We as the General Council of the Assemblies of God in Zimbabwe will comply with the Government’s directives. Easter conferences are cancelled and all big Sundays are postponed till the 60 days of the ban are over. The Kwekwe crusade with Greg Hubbard is cancelled.

“Our Sunday services will go on as usual. However, those with members or gatherings that exceed 100 people are to either have two or three or even more services with a maximum of 100 people in attendance or have cell services,” reads the statement.

In the same light, Apostolic Faith Mission(AFM) Reverend Cossum Chiangwa said pastors and their leadership at assembly level, depending on their assembly dynamics, will devise ways and means of ensuring that their services meet the stipulated standards. He encouraged all members to take necessary precautions and steps as advised from time to time by the Ministry of Health and Child Care.

Meanwhile, AFM South Africa National Leadership Forum president George Mahlobo said liturgical practices such as serving of the Lord’s Communion, water baptism, dedication of children and praying for the sick had been affected.

“Liturgical services are to be done without physical contact. Parents are to hold their own babies whilst the pastor stretches his or her hand and when conducting prayers for the sick, the person praying must just pray with their hands stretched out,” he said.

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