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“I Recommend the Closure Of Churches if Need Be, With The Recent Upsurge Of COVID-19” – Pastor Ituah Ighodalo

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Pastor Ituah Ighodalo
Pastor Ituah Ighodalo

With the second wave and more disturbing upsurge in covid-19, many are wondering what could be done to salvage these recent predicaments facing the world especially as the numbers keep spiralling beyond control, despite scientific discoveries and desperate medical measures put in place by health professionals to regulate the spread of the virus.

The senior pastor of Trinity House Church, Pastor Itua Ighodalo, has also waded into the discussion and strongly recommended that the government should not hesitate to shut down churches during the second wave of COVID-19 infections if there is a need to.

Ighodalo said this when he featured on Arise TV “Morning Show”, on Monday.

The world recalled that stricter measures were put in place earlier this year in order to curtail the spread of the COVID 19 virus when it was officially declared a pandemic by world health organisation (WHO). Major places of worship, recreational centers, churches, schools, offices, businesses as well as other public places were shut down in March. after the country confirmed its first emergence and infections. When cases of infections died down the lockdown was eased and all activities went back to normalcy.However, with the second wave of infections, and spread of the virus some states including Lagos, Kaduna and Benue have put new measures in place to reduce the risks of transmission.

Quizzed on the prospect of a possible lockdown by the government on activities including churches? pastor Ighodalo replied that if church gatherings would cause a rise in infections, then they should be closed.

“If we need to, there is nothing sacrosanct about a religious house; a religious house is a gathering of people wanting to worship God,” Ighodalo said.

“If that gathering and that intimacy in the gathering will lead to the spread of germs or disease, God, because you want to worship Him, would not say that the physical things that you need to do should not be done.

“So, if we need to shut down the churches, why not? Churches were shut down several months ago. We didn’t die, we survived. The churches learnt to go online, on Zoom. Christianity benefited from it because we now began to use more technology to offer our evangelism and our worship of God and we quite enjoyed it.

“The Zoom meetings are not as intimate but we have managed to reduce things to house fellowships and life must go on.”

He was however not in support of the opinion that worship centres are part of public places that have led to a spike in the COVID-19 infections in the country.

Ighodalo however admitted that though there are a few churches who might have violated measures put in place to curb the disease, but also noted that most of them have tried to follow laid down protocol.

“To speak to the issue as to whether churches are the ones who have not allowed COVID-19 cases to go down or who are the ones going against COVID-19 protocols, I regret to say I don’t quite agree,” he said.

“I think the government has bigger fishes to fry –If you go to any of the markets, any of the bus stops, any of the busy places, people don’t even wear masks. So, those gatherings of people are much more than the gathering in any church from time to time.

“In fairness to most churches, they have tried, a few no doubt have flouted the rules here and there but most of them have tried to keep to the COVID-19 protocols. So, it is not fair to say that it is the big churches that are flouting COVID guidelines.”

 

He concluded by suggesting to churches not to feel singled out as whatever decision the government takes to prevent the spread of the disease is not a form of persecution against them.

“No church should feel the government is against them. No, we are a social gathering. The same government is against night clubs, event centres and so on. It is nothing personal and I don’t take it personally. I think we are in a moment of crisis and if the churches need to pay some price and go through some situations, let’s do it,” he said.

 

Gift Joseph Okpakorese

Staff Writer

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