Millions want Ramaphosa to make religion an essential service

Millions want Ramaphosa to make religion an essential service

- Religious leaders have appealed to President Cyril Ramaphosa to declare religion an essential service

- 10 delegations from various faiths met with Ramaphosa to propose ways of opening the church as the lockdown eases

- Part of the plan is to allow people to gather in groups of 10 to worship

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Over 18 million South Africans want President Cyril Ramaphosa to declare that the religious sector is an essential service.

Pastor At Boshoff, from the Christian Revival Church (CRC) met with Ramaphosa along with 10 other delegations to convince him that the religious sector is an essential service.

The government is preparing to ease the lockdown and open up essential parts of the economy. The church leaders want to be able to support people during this challenging time through religion. learned that a presentation that Boshoff made was given to The Star explained that from level 3 people could congregate in groups of 10 to offer religious service.

“The church is the most underutilised asset the government has - we stand ready and available to serve our country and repair the devastating ­damage and fear this virus has already caused among our population."

Boshoff added that this would enable churches to distribute food and other essential products and offer shelter to the vulnerable.

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Faisal Suliman, president of the SA Muslim Network shared a similar sentiment, "We understand that we need to protect citizens from the virus. But the government needs to balance the need to protect health with religious freedoms.”

The Muslim Judicial Council were among the delegations which met with Ramaphosa according to IOL.

Presidency spokesperson Khusela Diko said: “The president is considering all proposals made to him during consultations with various sectors of society. The government will announce its decisions in due course.”

In other news, reported that the head pastor of Daystar Christian Centre, Sam Adeyemi, has said that the church will not be as it used to be after the deadly coronavirus outbreak is over.

He made this known during a live chat with BBC Yoruba on Tuesday, May 12, a session that was observed by The Cable.

In the chat, the man Of God said that the pandemic will greatly affect churches, as some of them may witness a big reduction in their membership as many members might just want to continue worshipping God from home.

“That’s an issue I have pondered upon severally because the church may not be the same again after this Covid-19 experience. As you can see, many people have been receiving messages via online broadcast from their homes. It’s no longer like before that they have to be physically present in churches,” he said.

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