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Clerics urge Christians to embrace Covid-19 vaccination as churches reopen

Christians attend mass after churches were reopened. File Photo

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Churches reopened on Sunday after almost four months of closure, with a call to Christians to embrace the vaccination.

On Wednesday, President Museveni reopened places of worship with only 200 congregants observing all the standard operating procedures-SOPs. The places of worship were closed in June following a surge in the number of Covid-19 cases.

Most of the churches adhered to the SOPs that included the wearing of masks, availing handwashing stations as well as maintaining social distance.

However, some churches were overwhelmed by the high turn up and could not make the practice of social distancing.

At Namirembe Cathedral, the Dean, Rev Canon Joshua Kisawuzi thanked the government for reopening the churches and other places of worship. He says that the churches have reopened at a time when there is a need for spiritual renewal following criminal acts that include murder, rape and defilement and theft that are rampant in the country.

At All Saints Cathedral, the Assistant Provost Reverend Hillary Jafu castigated people who are de-campaigning the ongoing Covid-19 vaccination programs.

Some of the Christians were excited that places of worship have been reopened after four months and say that they have been gearing up for today’s prayers.

At the Sacred Heart Lubaga Cathedral, Rev. Fr Achilles Mayanja, the administrator urged the Christians to adhere to the SOPs by regularly wearing masks, washing hands and sanitizing to avoid the spread of Covid-19.

Lubaga Cathedral organized six masses from 7am to 12noon with each mass going for one hour to enable the Christians to attend mass physically. Due to the overwhelming numbers, the church also improvised the Cathedral Hall for worship.

There was high adherence to the standard operating procedures SOPs with each Christian told sanitize before accessing church.

Jordan Kasiita, an Usher at Lubaga Cathedral says that the Christians adhered to the SOPs.

Vincent Alexander Kitayimbwa, a Christian says that although they have been attending mass online, they are happy the churches have opened.

At Christ the King church in Kampala, more than six automatic hand sanitizers were installed in different areas of the Church.

Donald Bamutiire, an Usher at Christ the King says that the church is yet to procure temperature guns.

Timothy Kimbugwe at Christianity focus centre in Kisenyi says that they have put in place four services every Sunday to enable all the believers to attend church physically.

At Christian life church Bwaise, parents who came for prayers with their children were turned away.

In Gulu at Rosary Church in Pece-Laroo division, there were two security personnel at the church’s main entry taking body temperatures of each Christian before entering and directing everyone to wear a face mask before entry.

Inside the Church, social distancing was observed but the number of Christians was beyond the required 200 much as several other people were asked to attend the mass from outside.

In his sermon during the second mass, Reverend Father Phillips Okidi asked the Christians to observe the SOPs and health ministry’s guidelines to curb the spread of the disease.

Pastor Martin Okidi of the Gulu Bible Community Church in his sermon rallied the congregation to embrace the COVID-19 vaccination for a corona-free country and to avoid more restrictions.

Doreen Atimango, one of the Christians at Holy Rosary Church who attended the first mass told URN that she had waited for long for the reopening of the Church and could not miss prayers on the first day.

Meanwhile, at St Phillips Cathedral in Bardege-Layibi division, more than 500 Christians attended the ordaining of eleven priests and deacons by the outgoing Bishop of the Diocese of Northern Uganda Jonhson Gakumba and his successor Bernard Loum.



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