Some clergymen of the United Liberia Inland Church in Ganta, Nimba County took no time to express their discontentment by stating how aggrieved they are for the Liberia Council of Churches (LCC) to side with the government to close down churches early March.
The clergymen who took to the airwave, include, Deacon Jackson Yormie, Pastor Dualu Lor, and Pastor Wongonyarmah Lumbayee.
On Sunday, May 17, 2020, when they resumed congregational service after sometimes without, the ULIC Pastors argued on local radio that the decision that brought the recent closure of churches as part of preventive measures was not in the interest of the Christian Community of Liberia.
The pastors are among those who believe that prayer is the answer to eliminating the pandemic and that closing down churches was an invitation to worsening the disaster because “God is taken out of the fight.” They claim that LCC’s decision to agree with the government to suspend worship service undermined the faith and rationality of being a true Christian.
In a telephone interview with LCC President, Bishop Kortu Brown, he said coming up with a decision in line with government’s was necessary because there was an increase in the number of confirmed Coronavirus cases, which was life-threatening.
Now, with the permission given by President Weah for churches to resume worship services, Bishop Brown said the position of the LCC is that those who want to open are free to open and those who are still not convinced to open can remain closed, but all should be able to observe the health protocols.
While many churches, mainly the protestant churches, as well as the Catholic Church are still skeptical to commence worship as declared by President George Weah, Several churches in Ganta, Nimba County, on May 17 had their first worship service after nearly three months of being closed.
In churches visited by the Daily Observer, members were seen to be in strict adherence with health protocols including social distancing, hand-washing, and avoidance of handshakes.
In the Bethel Outreach Church in Ganta, the members in the congratulation wore nose masks and people were restricted to sit far apart as required in the health protocols.
“Anyone, who comes to church without a nose mask is given a mask to wear, and the bench that carried seven persons now takes three persons,” said Munah Cooper, a member of the congregation.
The United Liberia Inland Church has one of the largest congregations in Ganta, but members are warned to observe the health protocols which may cause the church’s leadership to reduce people attending service. Among wearing nose masks, hand-washing, and social distancing, the leadership needs to reschedule service to host a certain number of people at a time, which means there will be various times in the day to go to worship service.
They were told that beginning next week, anyone who comes to church without a nose mask will not be allowed in the edifice.
With this, the church divided regular service into three sessions; with the first starting from 8:30 to 9:30, second from 10:30 to 11:30, and the last from12pm to 1 pm.
The Methodist Church in Ganta held two services, while the Lutheran Church also held its first single service since the lockdown.