Churches shut

Counties Garissa Marsabit

Churches in Garissa town remained shut last Sunday following government directive to ban all services to avoid congregations and limit the spread of the Corona.

A spot check by KNA in Garissa town revealed that Christian faithful stayed at home leaving the gates to their places closed as the measures to contain the virus gain momentum.

Mosques in Garissa town and neighbouring Madogo and Mororo of Tana River county where over 90 percent of the residents confess the Islamic faith have remained shut for the past one week.

Many Christian faithfuls’ have now resorted to online and other social media platforms while at home to nourish their souls.

Others have formed WhatsApp worship groups where they share daily scriptures, prayers and health directives on how to avoid contracting and spreading the virus that has now affected some 679,977 people with 31733 deaths according to John Hopkins University which is keeping a round-the- clock monitoring of the virus trend globally.

Talking to KNA on phone today pastor Joseph Muasya of the church on the rock in Garissa town, all the churches in Garissa adhered to the government directive by closing their places of worship.

Muasya said that his members used their facebook pages and Whatsup to share today’s messages.

“We shared messages on our Whatapp groups and Facebook pages to ensure that our members received the message that I had prepared for today’s service,” Muasya said.

“These are extra ordinary times and calls for extraordinary measures. We thank God for the technology in place that allows the clerics to share their messages with their followers,” he added.

And in Moyale Following the ban by the government of all gatherings to curb the spread of the dreaded COVID-19, all worship houses in Moyale town remained closed to comply with the directive.
A spot check by KNA on Sunday, being the major worship day for the big denominations, to nearly all Christians found that all the gates to worship houses in Moyale remained under lock and key.
The Anglican Church of Kenya (ACK) provost Reverend Michael Araro who talked to KNA through the phone has said that everyone needs to adhere with the governments’ directive to avoid the spread of the COVID-19.
The closedown follows a directive by Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe banning weddings and communal worship which were found to be the weakest link in the spread of the dreaded virus. The ban also limited the number of people attending burial ceremonies saying it would be lack of sense for people to attend the gatherings where they highly risked being infected by the contagious deadly disease COVID-19.
“It is a directive from the government and when you refer to the book of Romans 13:1 which says everyone should always submit to government authorities for they come from God and that those in those positions of authority have been placed there by God,” Reverend Araro said.
The provost has however appealed to all his congregation to make sure that they fully adhered to the directives of social distancing, washing hands and to make sure that when they developed any symptoms related to the dreaded disease to make sure they reported to the nearest health facility.
Interior principal secretary Karanja Kibicho on Sunday last week directed all administration officials to ensure that all places of worship remained closed until further notice warning them that if any are found open within their areas of jurisdiction the leadership of such places will be personally held responsible.
Yesterday chiefs and their assistants went round Moyale town to make sure that all shop owners had put in place soap and containers with running water and ensure that all customers they serve have washed their hands.
By Jacob Songok and Gatana Muchira

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