Some leaders of Christian congregations in Lagos on Sunday said services were restricted to 20 members and below in their churches in line with the COVID-19 preventive measures.
Martias Anabaraonye, the Resident Pastor of Assemblies of God Church, Orilawe, Alagbado, told the News Agency of Nigeria that the church held two services, with 15 and five worshippers respectively in attendance per service.
Anabaraonye said both services, containing Bible study and sermon, were held for one hour each, adding that it was necessary to encourage worshippers to remain committed, especially at these trying times.
“We had two services today, but we restricted the number to 20, as directed by government, but fortunately, we recorded below the number in both services,” he said.
He urged Christians to reverence and serve God wherever they might find themselves, adding that God is present everywhere to hear their supplications.
Another pastor, who pleaded anonymity, told NAN that there was no service in his church but they were instructed to hold services in units, with not more than three families in each unit.
He said: “Government has given the directive compelling us stay at home in order to avoid the spread of Coronavirus, which has affected our normal Sunday service since last week.
“We are now having our services in the family unit and the response was very low.
“For today, we were just 11, while other units reported that they were less than 15, including children.”
Also Sir Stanley Adiri, a Knight of the Anglican Communion, said it was imperative to comply strictly with all the preventive measures spelt out by the state government against the spread of COVID-19.
Adiri said although he was a committed member of his parish, he, nevertheless, observed the day’s service in his house with members of his family as part of measures to stay away from the crowd and avert the spread of the deadly virus.
He said: “My children conducted the praise and worship; my wife took the Bible reading, while I handled the sermon.
“We later gave our offering, which we’ll take to the church later.”
NAN reports that the state government had, on March 18, placed a ban on religious gatherings of over 20 worshippers as a measure to halt the spread of Coronavirus in the state.