Shepherd Superintendent of the Household of God Church , Rev Chris Okotie , says members of his church will not resume congregational worship on Sunday, August 9 , 2020.
This was contained in a statement released by the church on Thursday titled , ‘ Why We Can’ t Wear Mask mIn Church ’ .
Governor Babajide Sanwo – Olu had last week okayed the reopening of worship centres in the state effective August 7 after over four months of closure due to lockdown occasioned by the coronavirus pandemic .
The governor had approved that Muslim faithful could start attending congregational worships in mosques from Friday while Christians could also start attending physical church services from Sunday.
Sanwo – Olu also advised worshippers to obey health protocol during services including physical distancing , use of face masks and good hygiene practice.
But Okotie in the statement said the Lagos – based church would not reopen for physical services .
The clergy , who stressed that though it is imperative to curb the spread of the virus by obeying all safety protocol including the use of masks , however, said “ the wearing of masks or face shields was unacceptable ” during worship services .
“ Citing various Bible references, the clergy said , for Christians to wear any type of mask or face shield to church , is to reintroduce the veil which was torn the moment Jesus died on the cross .
With the tearing of the veil, there is no longer separation between God and his people , ” the statement read in part.
“When a man is standing before God in church wearing a shield or mask , he is denying the finished work of the cross. ”
Okotie ’ s teaching, however , runs contrary to the World Health Organization advisory on face masks .
Since the pandemic stormed our world months ago , the WHO has consistently emphasised the use of personal protective equipment including face masks /face shields , especially while in public places .
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The global health coordination agency stressed that the use of face masks is important to prevent person – to – person transmission of the virus because “ COVID – 19 virus is primarily transmitted between people via respiratory droplets and contact routes.
Droplet transmission occurs when a person is in close contact (within 1 metre ) with an infected person and exposure to potentially infective respiratory droplets occurs , for example , through coughing , sneezing or very close personal contact resulting in the inoculation of entry portals such as the mouth, nose or conjunctivae . ”
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