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General News of Sunday, 22 March 2020

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Coronavirus: Churches turn 'ghost town' on Sunday after Akufo-Addo's directive


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Instead of a usual mood of high spirited faithfuls singing and praying in supplication of the Lord’s blessings and protection for the start of the week, the sights on various church premises across the country on Sunday March 22, 2020 is quite the opposite.

This is because today marks the first Sunday of a four-week period that the president of Ghana, Nana Akufo-Addo, has placed a ban on social gatherings as a measure to curb the spread of the deadly coronavirus in the country.

Visiting some churches in Accra, GhanaWeb cameras captured desolate car parks, empty chapels and deserted compounds in place of what would have been the direct opposite on the fourth Sunday in the lent season which precedes Easter.

At the Bethany Methodist Church in Dzorwulu, the Superintendent Minister Right Reverend Edward Ofori-Donkor, said his church just like other churches across the country have had to resort to social media livestream to broadcast a 45-minute service to his church members at home.

“We were not able to have our normal service as we used to do because of the situation we all know. So we had a livestreaming of our service for the day. We used about 45 minutes for our members to listen in at their various homes.

On the effectiveness of the compromise the church has had to make, Rev Ofori-Donkor said responses received from members indicate they were in tune with the online service shared today.




“Our members were actually in tune with the service, because at the end of the day we had about 885 people viewing and about 105 comments coming from our members and from other places. It seems they enjoy the service at home.”

He advised Ghanaians to heed to the practices outlined by the World Health Organisation to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. He also called on Ghanaians to use this moment to reflect on their relationship with God and live a life more pleasing to their maker.

“Let us take this situation to look at our relationship with God and live a better life after this difficult period that we are in. People need to change, people need to repent and come back to their God. That will be a very happy moment for everybody and it will be good for our country.”

From there, the team visited other churches including the Charity Baptist Church and the Covenant Congregation of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana, all in Dzorwulu.

In both locations, the situation was no different with church leaders telling www.ghanaweb.com that they had also conducted earlier services which was streamed online to the benefit of their congregants.



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