The founder of Living Faith Church, Bishop David Oyedepo, has explained why he held a church service, inspite of Government ban on religious services, saying he conducted the service to sentitize the public about the danger associated with coronavirus
Penpushing reports that, the popular preacher gave the explanation following condemnation which followed his action, inspite of the government directive on restriction on large gatherings to combat coronavirus
The clergyman added that, he allowed Sunday church services at Winners Chapel in Canaanland not in defiance of government directives against physical contact, but to enlighten members who may not have been aware of order.
Penpushing further reports that, at the controversial church service Oyedepo posited that, “shutting down churches would be like shutting down hospitals, ”adding that, the services were held to educate worshippers on the need to comply with the government’s directives.
The cleric in a statement by his Special Assistant, Steve Ogah, for further clarification said the church has been pressured to clarify why it held church services against government directives, stating, “It has become necessary to issue this statement to clarify issues surrounding why Faith Tabernacle, Canaanland, the International Headquarters of Living Faith Church in Ogun State, held church service on Sunday, although with less than half of her regular worshippers,” .
“There have been diverse responses varying from well-meaning concerns to uncharitable insinuations, misinterpretations, and unfounded allegations that the service was held in deliberate defiance of Ogun State Government ban on high-density gatherings, in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic. Nothing can be further from the truth.”
Penpushing reports that, Oyedepo argued that, his decision to allow the service to hold followed a statement on Saturday by the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) that “church members who may gather in church premises, many of whom may not be aware of this regulations should be allowed to worship for the purpose of enlightenment on the subject matter.”
“As we all know, the Church is made up of both literate and illiterate congregants; many are not in touch with any of the modern platforms of communication and this is what we did yesterday. Indeed, the service was devoted entirely to sensitizing and mobilizing members of the Church regarding the danger of this deadly virus and the need to comply with government directives’.
“The Bishop has since engaged Ogun State Government at the highest level to clarify this issue and any misgivings and reiterated the full support of the church for the State Government’s efforts to ensure public safety, towards curtailing the spread of this deadly virus. He appreciates the opportunity of direct engagement and the understanding of the government. Cooperation to safeguard public safety is not just a moral obligation or civic responsibility; the church also considers it a spiritual duty.
“For instance, to show how law abiding our organisation is and in compliance with government directives, all our primary and secondary schools across the nation have been directed to close down. Also, our students at Landmark University, Omuaran, Kwara state were sent back home, while Covenant University Students, who are currently on vacation were instructed to stay back at home while awaiting further directives from government.”