-Rev. Davis Tells Gov’t; Appeals For Reconsideration Of The Closure Of Churches
Rev. Arthur Davis of the Agape Church Mission, speaking on behalf of the grassroot churches by appealing to the government to reconsider its decision to shut down worship centers, has equally so made it clear that if the government refuses to reconsider its decision then it should get ready to jail all pastors.
Rev. Davis added that the churches are not against government’s decision geared toward saving lives which is commendable, but similar action should be applied to the market places and filling stations and if that is not the case, then the government is moving against all the churches which will not be acceptable.
According to Rev. Davis, while it is true that the government is solely responsible for the administration of political-social and economic aspects of the governance system of the nation, and that the church is in charge of the spiritual dimension of the society; in times like these, when the country is plagued with Coronavirus, with no cure in sight; while sophisticated and affluent societies are gravely hit with huge human casualties; ordering the closure of places of worship is tantamount to telling God that he is not needed in Liberia.
He also pointed out that in the absence of medicine to cure the virus, the need for spiritual intervention cannot be over emphasized and to close down the churches is not the immediate solution, because even if the churches are closed, in keeping with government’s Health Protocols, the same people who are members of the various churches are going to the crowded market places to buy food and at the filling stations parked with people and rubbing against others who could have the virus which shows that the virus is not only from the churches.
Rev. Davis said, they accept government’s health protocols and are prepared to abide by such, even if it means extending the worship sections to more than one service on Sunday with vast reduction in the numbers present at each worship service, but to stall the worship services without reconsideration is not the best way forward adding, we are all aware of the health facilities are unable to cope with the mounting pressure from Coronavirus (COVID-19), let alone the financial squeeze the government is confronted with.
He observed that during the dreadful Ebola scourge that killed over 4,000 in the country, and despite the many assistance that were provided for the country, it was God’s grace, mercy and intervention in the embodiment of the churches that Ebola was swept away from Liberia in spite its dreadfulness, God was allowed to stay in the country and he proves his supremacy by healing he land because the people appealed to him and the churches led the massive prayers.
He cited an unfortunate development when the police allegedly moved on some worshippers from the Old Road and disbursed them from where they used to assemble’ although he said he did not support the act of assemble where they were gathered, he also frowned on the alleged force used by the police.
In a phone-talk show on a local radio station in Monrovia on Friday, March 27, 2020 Rev. Davis said amidst callers recommending that the religious people should accept the closure of the worship centers and conduct their prayer services at their respective homes with limited participants, he (Rev Davis) noted that carrying out such services in their various homes will be hampered by the vulnerability of abrupt interference coupled with the economic factor regarding self-substance while observing the health protocols released by government
He however dismissed the perception advanced by many callers that the churches are greatly concerned about the fate of the various collections including the offerings, tithe and other fees as being the driving force for the reconsideration of the closure as embedded in government’s health protocols as part of the safety measures adopted.
It can be recalled that Evangelist and Senator of Nimba County Prince Yormie Johnson (PYJ) took up issue with the government when he was told on Sunday, March 22, 2020 to close down his worship service by the Inspector General of Police, Patrick Sudue while he (Johnson) was preaching on the pulpit.
This led Evangelist Johnson to refer to Director Sudue as being demon-possessed and argued that the President did not tell them to close down worship places in line with the health protocols released by the regime.
Already, several worship centers have adhered to government’s health protocols released recently including Providence Baptist Church, Methodist and the Central Mosque and have closed their places where they conduct their religious activities respectively.
Liberia Council of Churches:
However, the Liberia Council of Churches (LCC) in ecumenical partnership with other para church groups, denominations and Christian organizations Friday March 27, 2020 announced the suspension of regular worship to all churches in Montserrado and Margibi counties respectively in the wake of the deadly Coronavirus pandemic.
In a statement signed by Rev. Kortu Brown, President of the LCC, the council said the decision came after a conclusive meeting over the last three days on the conditions and [health emergency] actions taken by the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Liberia to order the closure of churches due to the 3rd confirmed case of Coronavirus in Liberia.
The statement said “We call on all Liberians and residents within our borders to continue to seek the face of God to spare us of this pestilence or pandemic that is invading the world. God can limit its spread. We encourage pastors and religious leaders to direct their constituencies wherever they are, to continue to make intercession and supplication to the God of the universe who is the God of St. John 3:16 to intervene and save mankind and restore our inheritance.”