Errant churches and mosques will be closed down-Gov’t cautions


Following President Akufo-Addo’s easing of restrictions on public and social gatherings, particularly the commencement of religious activities from June 5, the Minister of Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, has disclosed that officials will be going round to ensure strict adherence to the President’s directive, warning that any church or mosque that flouts the measures will be closed down.

He also added that no matter how big the church or mosque auditorium is, the number should not exceed 100.

“No matter how big your church is, you cannot exceed the 100 mark, but you are allowed to have multiple services,” he yesterday in a radio interview.

He urged all religious leaders to strictly ensure that their members stick to the mandatory wearing of nose masks as well as keeping a register of names and contact details of all worshippers, who can only congregate for a maximum duration of one hour.

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“No one is to wear the mask more than an hour continuous,” he urged.

Churches react

Meanwhile, the Christian Council of Ghana (CCG) yesterday welcomed the President’s directive.

Reacting to the presidential directive, the Most Reverend Bishop Paul Kwabena Boafo, Chairman of the CCG, in an interview with the media, urged the churches to adapt to the temporary one-hour service duration.

“The churches should endeavour to manage with the one hour because this is the new normal and so we should be able to adapt to these things since we can’t have the luxury as with previous times,” Rev Dr Boafo said.

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He noted that “previously we did not have any time limitation to worship, but now, as part of measures to stop the spread of COVID-19, we are limited to an hour for service. We should be able to manage and operate within that for now.”

Rev Dr Boafo, who doubles as the Presiding Bishop of the Methodist Church, Ghana, said church leaders were preparing to meet the Minister Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs to discuss the “details of what has been put forward.”

“The President only mentioned 25 per cent, or a maximum of 100 people, one hour and other things, but we want to clarify the issues further with the Minister,” he said.

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Rev Boafo said the leadership would, however, discuss the one-hour duration per service since it would be a bit of a challenge for most churches, adding that “for some churches the one hour is just for warming up.”

He advised churches not to rush in opening up their premises for service but take some time in putting their auditoriums in place, sanitise and disinfect the premises, and educate their ushers on the dos and don’ts.




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