Religious institutions suspend meetings, activities


Faithful use hand sanitiser at Citam Kisumu on March 15, 2020. Citam has suspended services for three weeks. PHOTO | ONDARI OGEGA | NMG

Religious institutions have suspended services in the country to mitigate against the spread of the coronavirus outbreaks.

Christ is the Answer Ministries (Citam) is the latest to cancel church gatherings and encourage congregants to stay at home and access services through digital and broadcast platforms.

Presiding bishop Dr David Oginde said Sunday sermons for the next three weeks will be made available via television and radio as well as church’s social media.

“We are encouraging our members and friends to join us online for virtual services beginning this Sunday, March 22 from 10am, broadcast on Hope TV and Hope FM as well as via our Citam live-stream on social media platforms until further notice,” Dr Oginde said in a statement.

Other religious institutions that have suspended services include the Presbyterian Church of East Africa (PCEA), All Saints Anglican Church, Nairobi Chapel, and Jamia Mosque.

PCEA Secretary-General Reverend Peter Kaniah told church members that sermons will be availed on social media platforms for the next three weeks.

“Weddings should be postponed or be done in a ceremony attended by the bride, the groom, the best couple and the officiating minister.

“Funeral services should be attended only by the extended family. Viewing of body should not be done at the mortuary to avoid people congregating. The entourage should go straight to the graveside or an open field with a short service of not more than one hour held by the officiating minister,” Rev Kaniah said.

All Saints' Cathedral has also suspended hiring of its premises for private functions.

Jamia Mosque has suspend congregational prayers until further notice, secretary general Abdul Bary Hamid said in a statement.

Kenya has confirmed seven cases of the Covid-19, which originated in Wuhan, China in December, has spread to 164 countries.

The government banned public gatherings as a measure to curb the fast-spreading coronavirus.

Globally, more than 200,000 people have been infected and over 8,000 have died.

In sub-Saharan Africa, 26 out of 49 countries have confirmed cases.

The outbreak was declared a pandemic on March 11, 2020 by the World Health Organisation (WHO).