Some Christian faithful in Anambra have expressed satisfaction with the reopening of churches after the state government relaxed the lockdown over the COVID-19 pandemic.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the state governor, Chief Willie Obiano on Saturday, April 25 on its statewide broadcast, lifted the ban on congregational worship in the state.
NAN reports that the churches observed breaking of church services into four sessions of 6.30 am to 7.30 am, 7.30 am to 8.30 am and 8.30 am to 9.30 am duration of service with less than 50 persons in attendance.
Also the social distancing, wearing of face masks and washing of hands and use of sanitisers at the entrance of the churches were maintained.
Some of the faithful who spoke to NAN said they were glad to be back to worship in their various churches after the closure due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Mrs Victoria Nwosu of the Church of the Pentecost, Awka, said that she was grateful that the church had been opened to communicants after the closure since late March due to the pandemic.
Nwosu said that she missed the fellowship and prayed that God would not allow such plague to befall the country again.
Mrs Ifeoma Obi, also a parishioner said that she was happy to fellowship with other members and prayed that the virus would soon be history.
Mr Chibuikem Daluchukwu said that it was a great joy for him to be in church to worship God in his usual temple and prayed that God would keep the country safe from the deadly coronavirus.
Daluchukwu appealed to the government to always review its decision before execution, as closure of prayer houses was not very sound though it was done to save lives.
“If God does not watch over the city, the watchmen watch in vain; prayer houses remain a place to talk to God in times of distress like the coronavirus.
“I feel that its closure may have negative effect on people’s spirituality,” he said.
In a sermon, Anglican Cleric, Rev Echezona Obioha of Church of the Pentecost, Awka, charged shepherds to hold welfare of their sheep as a top priority.
Obioha in his sermon on Sunday entitled, “The Good Shepherd” taken from John 10: 11, urged well-meaning people to be their brother’s keeper at this period of Coronavirus pandemic.
“I am the good shepherd, the good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep, says the Lord” the cleric said.
He reminded the congregation that as Jesus Christ was a good shepherd to all His followers, it was expected that leaders in the country should be good shepherds to their sheep.
Echezona encouraged leaders in the country to enthrone good governance by making policies that would benefit the people at all times.
“Good leadership will transform a nation to achieve a sound growth and development in all sectors of the economy like in health, education, infrastructural developments amongst others,” he said.
He also urged the sheep to be good followers by abiding by the law of the land and performing civic responsibilities to the country.