Rev. Emmanuel Barrigah - General Secretary of the GPCC
The Ghana Pentecostal and Charismatic Council of Ghana has asked its members who might be unable to meet all the requirements announced by the government ahead of the opening of churches on Sunday to hold on.
President Akufo-Addo in his 10th address to the nation announced that religious activities can commence from Friday, June 5, with a majority number of 100 congregants for an hour service following the easing of the coronavirus-induced restrictions.
On the back of this, the Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs Ministry released over 20 guidelines expected to be adhered to by religious bodies before opening for services. These include a ‘no mask, no entry’ policy, and making available thermometer guns to be used to check the temperatures of people going into the churches or mosques.
However, in an interview today, the General Secretary of the GPCC, Rev. Emmanuel Barrigah said churches should avoid impulsiveness to start services if they do not have all the requirements being demanded in place. Adding that this is to ensure that the whole environment is safe to prevent anyone who might have the disease to infect others.
“We are writing to our congregations and we are telling them that they should not be in a rush to open. If you’re able to put all these things together or much of these together and you can open on Sunday, fine. But if you have to wait a little bit to be able to put all that is required in place before you open, then you can go ahead and do that before you reopen. Especially the training and education that we have to do ahead of our people coming back to church, they are very important and we must not put them aside. It is not compulsory that you must open on Sunday if you are not ready,” he stressed.
Also, the spokesperson of the National Chief Imam, Sheikh Aremeyaw Shaibu, has also said it will be challenging to implement some of the new guidelines instituted for Muslim worshipping in the mosques.
Among the advisories for the Muslims include designating a waiting room or area where a person who becomes sick at the premises or an event can be isolated from others while making preparations for evacuation. But Sheikh Shaibu also noted that considering the nature of how mosques are located, that guideline will be challenging to implement.