Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, has placed a ban on all-night prayer sessions and midweek services in Cross River to stem the spread of COVID-19 pandemic in the state.

A statement at the weekend made available to newsmen, CAN advises pastors and church leaders to “desist forthwith from holding tarry nights and midweek services to stem the rapid spread of the coronavirus in the state and the wrath of government”.

The statement signed by the association’s Chairman Rev Ben Ekpenyong warned that ” His Excellency, Senator Ben Ayade in his magnanimity only approved corporate prayers for Muslims on Friday and Christians worship on Sundays”. The statement read.

CAN in the statement stated that the association’s monitoring team has held meetings with the Special Adviser to the governor on Religious Matters, Rev Malachy Ephraim and it is observed with dissatisfaction that some pastors “within the state go against government directives and hold all-night prayers and midweek services without remorse”

The statement stated that the conditions given by government are for the wellbeing of all because “we need to be alive to worship God”.

It went further to caution that rather than abuse government and question why markets are operational while churches are restricted, that the chances of contracting the virus in a confined environment are higher than in an open place like the market.

“Church leaders should uphold the ethics of their calling in the discharge of their duties to God and humanity rather than abusing and questioning government directives”.

It warned that from this week any church that violates government directives would be recommended for closure.

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