Amid disagreement between the governments and churches over New Year crossover services, the Christian leadership in Nigeria has directed worship centres to respect authorities’ directives.
President of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Rev Samson Ayokunle, gave the order in a statement on Tuesday evening.
He appealed to churches to strictly adhere to COVID-19 protocols and guidelines issued by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), federal and state governments.
Ayokunle said CAN understands the unfortunate state the coronavirus pandemic has put everybody worldwide.
“This caused some state governments to place a total ban on crossover night service and we are not happy that we would not be able to enter into the New Year prayerfully in joint fellowship with our brothers and sisters.
“We, however, urge you all to abide by the directives of each state government on this so as to prevent the spread of the infection.
“There is no sacrifice that is too much in order to put an end to the pandemic once and for all. One thing that is certain is that the end of COVID-19 is here at last in the mighty Name of Jesus Christ.”
CAN advised that in states where the government has placed an embargo on the crossover services, churches may meet earlier to praise God for the gift of life despite the global crisis and place their requests for 2021.
Ayokunle added that in such states, services should end by 11:00pm at most to enable worshippers to return home on time.
“It is a passing phase and this too shall pass away in Jesus Name. Very soon, the pandemic will become history and we will return to our usual routine services in Jesus Name.”
He advised state governments to continuously relate with CAN leadership in their states for understanding and support of their directives.
“We are partners in progress and development of the country. We also call on local government authorities to enforce the COVID-19 protocols in our markets and in the transport sector”, his statement added.