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Opinion: Observing from the corner: State and Church within COVID-19

At times, the unwritten principle at play is that, “It is better to risk few than to destroy all”. In any case, life must not be experimented for no life is less valuable. In our national and collective effort to fight the coronavirus, many directives and laws have been offered. Let me say, in passing, that, with all the rush for free food, money, etc during the partial lock-down, the spread was not as rapid as we feared.

Now, after reading and following the guidelines regarding the re-opening of Churches, I asked myself several questions in my reflective mood. I wrote this article to share few of them. I may be speculative when I have no facts and proof.
Some district sanitation and health officials really love the Church. They supervised disinfection (though they called it fumigation) and ensured the proper observance of every law to the detail. Fumigation is to apply gaseous chemicals in an enclosed place to do away with insects, rodents, cockroaches, rats and co.

Disinfection is the application of chlorine based chemicals on hard surfaces to kill or do away with pathogens and microorganisms.
Now, we have been disinfecting our houses since Adam. As a Church, we can do without the huge costing by District Assemblies.

God bless the state institutions for caring so much for the ministers of God and Christ faithful. Disinfection is always good to undertake but some supervised it as if coronavirus survived for almost 3 months in a closed Church.
But, if the care for people is such deep in Ghana, then let me ask if all offices of the sanitation officials themselves have been disinfected? If yes, then we thank God.

Again, how many district assemblies, banks, supermarkets, mobile service providing offices, transport yards, government institutions, etc. use these infrared thermometers. As I stressed, we love to see very safe Churches and mosques but why can’t we care same for all others?
My other reflection was on this over-hyped collection bowl at the entrance. Money seems not to be dangerous until it enters Church. Filling of loan forms in all district assemblies can be compared with the offering bowl. If a step to drop my offering can be that risky, is it safe for the hundreds gathered to fill forms at district offices? And, how safe are our young tax collectors in the markets? Protecting us in Church is great but should it be in religious environments alone?

And, I beg ooo, hmmmmm. The awakye, kenkey, sliced water melon, etc. sellers in the streets are not to be feared but holy communion can be so dangerous to receive even with sanitized hands? May we protect all, not only Church people.

Finally, for now, will we use thermometers and disinfectants at family houses before and during private burials, marriages, naming ceremonies, etc with some 40 or 100 people?
No one hates Churches, I believe. But let us not create a public impression as if houses of prayer are dangerous grounds to be extremely feared.

For a fact, many Churches, even the non-organized, individually pastored ones, are more organized than markets and many shopping malls. Let us help protect every life but let us avoid overly intimidating Churches. If God gives me more insight, I will talk about financial burdens on Churches next time.

Authored by: (Rev Fr Joseph Nyarko Asare, writing as an independent Ghanaian and not on behalf of my Church)

PUBLISHED BY AGNUS-DEI MEDIA

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