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COVID-19: It Is Wrong To Close Down Churches, Says Cleric




By Daniel Dafe

President of Truth Aflame International Church, Warri, Rev Goddowell Ivworin

A cleric in Delta State, President of Truth Aflame International Church, Warri, Rev Goddowell Ivworin, has condemned the closure of churches by political leaders as a measure to curb the spread of the Coronavirus pandemic.

Responding to questions from journalists in Warri, Rev. Ivworin said that a better approach would have been to ask churches to ensure that the World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines like hand washing, use of sanitizers, social distancing are strictly adhered to.

He said: “Closing churches is not a right approach. But we have to follow because the government has said so. If they can control the markets, the church can also be controlled.

“In our markets social distance is not maintained. When I held my service one time, security operatives stormed the place but saw the order in the service, as nurses were also on ground to attend to people. The protocol unit was on duty and we were able to break the services into two. They left that day and allowed our service hold. This was at the beginning of the lockdown. The church is the salt and light of the earth.”

He added: “Sicknesses are things that are caused by the forces of darkness. COVID-19 is not the first sickness that has come into this world. There are other sicknesses that have come and are spreading destruction though COVID-19 is faster than the others that have ever happened.”

According to him, COVID-19 is not a persecution against the church but an attack on the human race.

He continued: “The church is praying, the government is working and I believe it will soon be over.”

To Christian leaders, he said: “Spiritual leaders must do exactly what Apostle Paul did when the church was facing trial. What is happening now can be termed a tribulation which is facing the church just like the world and so they must encourage Christians and build faith in them, not fear, confidence and not tension.

“Leaders are to tell members to be filled with God’s Word and stop propagating fear. They should not be telling them anti-Christ is coming and the world will soon be destroyed. The world is not about to end even though this is one of the signs of the end.”

He urged Christians to follow the law of the government that is good for their preservation.

“Normally, sanitizing is a normal thing. Washing your hands is normal,” he opined.

According to him, the government and the church must learn lessons from the COVID-19 experience.

Furthermore, he said “the government should think of having a system that runs for the benefit of the people.”

“Good power and water supply should be made available. Our leaders must provide good hospitals, schools and good roads. The church can assist them in accomplishing these,” he stressed.


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