-Church leaders react to the suspension of church services-
A group of church leaders under the banner, “Concern Pastors of Liberia against the closure of churches and COVID-19” say the decision of the government to shut down church services constitues an attack on the Christian Faith.
As the suspension comes along with restriction in hosting parties, wedding, and funerals, the group say it is surprised to see the Monrovia City Corporation disregarding the very rule and converging in a large group.
The group’s statement was delivered by its secretary-general, Prophet Robert A. Joe, at a press conference held in Monrovia yesterday, March 25, 2020.
Joe said they are willing to follow all the preventive health measures including social distance, handshake, regular washing hands.
He said they are going to obey the decision reached on Friday, March 20, 2020, between the Council of Churches and President George M. Weah which called for churches to reduce the number of people per worship and have multiple services on worship days).
Joe said just as the church played an important role during the fight against EBOLA, they are going to repeat the same history during this global crisis.
“Therefore, we the concern pastors, based on the Holy Bible which is the foundation of our faith, will not accept any force or threat from the Police Inspector General and the Deputy Minister of Information who are against our faith and going ahead to shut down our worship services,” he said.
Joe said, “We will resist with our blood as was done in the early churches when state powers persecuted Christians for their faith.”
Quoiting Jude 1:3, Joe said they feel that their faith is being challenged that is why over a hundred pastors from across Montserrado and Margibi counties have come to express their disappointment through the position statement. Jude 1:3 says: “Beloved, while I was making every effort to write you about our common salvation, I felt the necessity to write to you appealing that you contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints.”
Joe said their statement is also referenced in 2 Chronicles 7:11-16 and 1Kings 8:35-36, Esther 4:16-19, Hebrew 10:25 adding that one of the major purposes of worship services is to keep fasting and praying to God during this time of national crisis.
He said the church will remain peaceful as was done during the 14 years of the civil war because it is one of the institutions that brought peace to the nation.
Rev. Amos Beyan, Chairman of the group, said the forceful suspension of churches during such a time is a great challenge to the nation that clearly indicates that the embassies of God in Liberia are no longer functional.
Daniel Seakor, a member of the group said: “We are going to worship on Sunday and the God we serve will do the rest just as he did in the case of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego who were not concerned about the king’s decree but to worship God.”
“We have already started taking all preventative measures like the restriction on transport vehicles but closing down churches is an attack on our faith and we will not accept that,” he told reporters.