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COVID-19 second wave: Churches should be shut if necessary, says Ituah Ighodalo

COVID-19 second wave: Churches should be shut if necessary, says Ituah Ighodalo
December 21
14:42 2020

Ituah Ighodalo, senior pastor of Trinity House Church, says the government should not hesitate to shut down churches during the second wave of COVID-19 infections if there is a need to.

Ighodalo said this when he featured on Arise TV “Morning Show”, on Monday.

As part of measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19, schools, churches, recreational centres and other public places were shut down in March after the country confirmed its first infection but they were later reopened.

But owing to the second wave of infections, some states including Lagos, Kaduna and Benue have put new measures in place to reduce the risks of transmission.


Asked if the government should shut down churches again, Ighodalo replied that if church gatherings would cause a rise in infections, then they should be closed.

“If we need to. There is nothing sacrosanct about a religious house; a religious house is a gathering of people wanting to worship God,” Ighodalo said.

“If that gathering and that intimacy in the gathering will lead to the spread of germs or disease, God, because you want to worship Him, would not say that the physical things that you need to do should not be done.


“So, if we need to shut down the churches, why not? Churches were shut down several months ago. We didn’t die, we survived. The churches learnt to go online, on Zoom. Christianity benefited from it because we now began to use more technology to offer our evangelism and our worship of God and we quite enjoyed it.

“The Zoom meetings are not as intimate but we have managed to reduce things to house fellowships and life must go on.”

The cleric, however, disagreed with the notion that worship centres are part of public places that have led to the rise in COVID-19 infections in the country.

Ighodalo said though a few churches might have violated measures put in place to curb the disease, he noted that most of them have tried to follow laid down protocol.


“To speak to the issue as to whether churches are the ones who have not allowed COVID-19 cases to go down or who are the ones going against COVID-19 protocols, I regret to say I don’t quite agree,” he said.

“I think the government has bigger fishes to fry –If you go to any of the markets, any of the bus stops, any of the busy places, people don’t even wear masks. So, those gatherings of people are much more than the gathering in any church from time to time.

“In fairness to most churches, they have tried, a few no doubt have flouted the rules here and there but most of them have tried to keep to the COVID-19 protocols. So, it is not fair to say that it is the big churches that are flouting COVID guidelines.”

He also asked churches not to feel singled out as whatever decision the government takes to prevent the spread of the disease is not a form of persecution against them.


“No church should feel the government is against them. No, we are a social gathering. The same government is against night clubs, event centres and so on. It is nothing personal and I don’t take it personally. I think we are in a moment of crisis and if the churches need to pay some price and go through some situations, let’s do it,” he said.


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