How Christians defied Museven’s directives on church reopening

A number of Christians across the country have today thronged churches which have been closed to the public for about six months.  

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A number of Christians across the country have today thronged churches which have been closed to the public for about six months.

  This was however in violation to President Museveni’s directive that places of worship would be reopened starting October 15 with strict observation of Ministry of Health guidelines to prevent the spread of Coronavirus.

The president also said churches would be allowed to accommodate just 70 congregants during a given service.

A local Newspaper, the Daily Monitor reported that at some churches like St Andrews Cathedral in Mbale City, there were more than 100 congregants who attended the service on Sunday.

At St Kalori Lwanga, Mbiko Parish in Njeru Municipality, Buikwe District, the paper said worshippers were seen wearing facemasks and washing their hands before entering the church.

The paper also observed that congregants were tested for temperature before accessing the venue.

However, Fr Joe King, the priest at St Kalori Lwanga said they had tried to observe all other SOPs but were overwhelmed with the number of congregants who turned up for prayers.

“We are dealing with a big number of Christians and the restrictions say we should not have more than 70 people. I think we have tried to follow the SOPs but the biggest challenge was to maintain the number because everyone leaves their home thinking is one of the 70 and there is no way you can chase them,” the priest told the Daily Monitor.

Christians at St Jude Catholic Church Malaba holding prayers outside church house| Daily Monitor/Joseph Omollo.

The priest, the paper reported urge the scientist advising president Museveni to review some of the SOPs, especially the number of congregants.

“Do not just sit in the office and make rules, they should go on the ground and find out.  If you go to all Churches, you will notice that they have more than 70 people. It is not practicable,” he added.

It’s also reported that the overwhelming number of congregants forced authorities to erect a tent outside the church to accommodate other congregants.

At St Jude Catholic Church Malaba, the number of congregants was huge too and this forced the priest to conduct the service in the open space making it free to all.  However, he pledged to observe all SOPs in the subsequent Sunday services, the paper revealed.

The priest said that the parish had recommended the church to hold three shifts of services every Sunday.

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