Rev. Emmanuel Chukwuma
Archbishop of the Enugu Province and Bishop of Enugu Anglican Diocese, Most Rev. Emmanuel Chukwuma, yesterday, said the Province will not shut any of its branches over the Coronavirus pandemic.
He said shutting the church at a time like this would mean giving the devil an opportunity to ravage the people and the country, Sun News reports.
Chukwuma faulted the order of government to close churches and places of worship. He said it is unfortunate and wrong to categorise church and worship centres with drinking parlours, night clubs, markets and companies.
The cleric said he would not shut the churches because he is not the owner, as the church belongs to Jesus Christ, adding that if people were stopped from "running to their God in worship in a time like now the whole world is in confusion, where would they run to for safety, help and deliverance?"
He also warned that attacking the church will not bring a solution but will only make matters worse. He advised that there was a need for the country to continue to seek divine solution to the Coronavirus pandemic.
The Archbishop, who was reacting to the disruption of worship in some Anglican churches in Enugu, warned security operatives to stop discouraging members of the Anglican Church from worshipping in their church buildings, insisting that he had ensured that all hygienic protocols and social distancing practices were kept for the good of the people.
Bishop Chukwuma said, according to Sun News: "I have told them (Police) not to try it again unless they want more trouble for themselves and their families. There is no way you can ask the church of God to stop when we need prayers to bring healing upon the land, especially when we are faced with a problem as serious as coronavirus that has defied every human solution.
"It is wrong on the government to send police after worshippers. I think if they are serious, what they should do is to ensure that the hygiene protocol is kept, that the social distancing order is also kept, while encouraging those at the altar to pray the country out. What can man do under this circumstance without God? What can even the President or our scientists do in this trying time without God? It is wrong for people to think that we will not find answers to what has befallen us through prayers. So, I want to warn that whoever is behind the disruption should stop in his own interest.
"The last thing I will do at this time is to close the doors of my church building. In my Cathedral, we worshipped today and we will observe all the Palm Sunday and Easter activities. I will worship on Monday, Thursday as well as the Easter Sunday. It will be sad on anybody who tried to stop us because. We’re doing what we are supposed to do."