The Ministry of Health in South Sudan has advised the Catholic Church against proceeding with plans to reopen churches during the Easter holidays.
Officials, tasked with the responsibility of halting the spread of coronavirus pandemic, said lockdown measures exist to slow down the transmission of the virus.
This came even as the church announced it would welcome believers on Good Friday, April 2, 2021, despite a current ban on social and religious gathering imposed in the country.
Early this month, the National Taskforce on coronavirus extended the partial lockdown for another one month with planned punitive measures against violators.
The taskforce shut down all businesses except essential services like food, medicines and fuel.
It also imposed restrictions on public transportation, weddings, clubbing and parties, among others.
However, the Archbishop of the Catholic Archdiocese of Juba, insists that the church will mark the Easter holidays despite the lockdown.
“We think that even without an okay from them, we will have at least the celebration of the Easter with few selected people….with social distancing as usual,” Archbishop Stephen Ameyu told Eye Radio.
But the the Coronavirus Incident Manager at the health ministry Dr. Richard Laku said it would be self-destructive for the church to expose its believers to the pandemic.
“This is about moral responsibility. It’s not that we don’t want people to pray; we want to protect them. When they go to church, the bishop or priests may catch the virus. And you know people are now dying from it,” Dr Laku stated.
Easter is one of the most significant events on the global Christian calendar. It commemorates Jesus’ resurrection from death, as written in the Christian bible.
(Source: Eye Radio)