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COVID-19: CAN suspends Sunday worship, weddings in Benue

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AN ADDRESS TO ALL CHRISTIANS IN BENUE STATE BY CAN CHAIRMAN REV AKPEN LEVA, ON 26TH MARCH 2020.

Dearly Beloved in Christ Jesus,THE REALITY OF COVID-19: A CALL FOR STRICT COMPLIANCE
It has become very pertinent for me to address you today concerning the reality of COVID-19 Pandemic which has brought the world to unavoidable panic. It is spreading fast among countries like wild fire with devastating death tolls on a daily basis. The rate at which it is spreading therefore calls for real collaboration and unity of purpose to ensure we curtail further spread among our people. This therefore entails that we have to comply fully with the directives of the National Body and the State in curtailing the spread of the virus.In this regard, we urge all church leaders, clergymen and the Christian community in Benue State to duly observe the following adjustments we have made regarding our Christian activities.
We advise proprietors of all mission based schools and theological schools as well to comply with the state government directives by closing all Christian schools on or before 27th March, 2020.
Considering the importance of the week long fasting and prayer session organized by CAN in conjunction with the state government, which is to round up on 29th March, 2020, we wish to say that with effect from 1st April, 2020, we will encourage churches to enforce  smaller units of congregational worships of not more than 50 people. We also recommend the suspension of Sunday services and masses for the next two weeks to monitor the situation. Christians are encouraged to continue with home devotions, Crusades, conventions, revivals, vigils, refresher courses, Para church camps are hereby suspended until further directives. We can go ahead with online preaching among other avenues.
We urge the Clergies to suspend the sign of peace which normally involves shaking of hands and hugging in some churches and even outside the church. Social distance of one meter or three feet is therefore recommended.Administration of Holy Communion should be on the palms and carefully done as to avoid touching the recipients.Pastoral care and hospital visits should be administered with utmost precautions. Use of alcohol based hand sanitizers before and after, wash hands thoroughly with soap and water often.
Burials should be restricted to only close family members of the deceased. Weddings and social celebrations are to be suspended until the situation improves. We urge you to observe strictly the health conditions as prescribed by Centre for Disease Control and World Health Organization. In this regard, you are advised to avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.Personal protective equipments including hand sanitizers, face masks, hand washing fonts with liquid soap dispensers to be provided. Thus, hand sanitizers should be handy at every church entrance.
Endeavour to cover your mouth and nose with handkerchiefs or bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze, and dispose the tissue immediately. In case you have fever, cough or difficulty in breathing, seek medical advice immediately.
We urge you to please isolate yourself at home within this period. Avoid going out unless when necessary. Prevention is hundred times better than cure!We appeal to all church leaders to ensure that this information gets to the grass roots and also ensure strict compliance. Ensure the vulnerable are not abandoned at this time and beyond.
Finally, we appeal to the standing committee on COVID-19 and the state government to cooperate with the church by providing the needful so that we can effectively control the spread of COVID-19 in Benue state.
Continue to pray for the safety of Benue State.
Thank you and God bless.
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COVID-19: CAN SUSPENDS SUNDAY WORSHIP, WEDDINGS IN BENUE 

It has become very pertinent for me to address you today concerning the reality of COVID-19 Pandemic which has brought the world to unavoidable panic. It is spreading fast among countries like wild fire with devastating death tolls on a daily basis. The rate at which it is spreading therefore calls for real collaboration and unity of purpose to ensure we curtail further spread among our people. This therefore entails that we have to comply fully with the directives of the National Body and the State in curtailing the spread of the virus.In this regard, we urge all church leaders, clergymen and the Christian community in Benue State to duly observe the following adjustments we have made regarding our Christian activities.
We advise proprietors of all mission based schools and theological schools as well to comply with the state government directives by closing all Christian schools on or before 27th March, 2020.
Considering the importance of the week long fasting and prayer session organized by CAN in conjunction with the state government, which is to round up on 29th March, 2020, we wish to say that with effect from 1st April, 2020, we will encourage churches to enforce  smaller units of congregational worships of not more than 50 people. We also recommend the suspension of Sunday services and masses for the next two weeks to monitor the situation. Christians are encouraged to continue with home devotions, Crusades, conventions, revivals, vigils, refresher courses, Para church camps are hereby suspended until further directives. We can go ahead with online preaching among other avenues.
We urge the Clergies to suspend the sign of peace which normally involves shaking of hands and hugging in some churches and even outside the church. Social distance of one meter or three feet is therefore recommended.Administration of Holy Communion should be on the palms and carefully done as to avoid touching the recipients.Pastoral care and hospital visits should be administered with utmost precautions. Use of alcohol based hand sanitizers before and after, wash hands thoroughly with soap and water often.
Burials should be restricted to only close family members of the deceased. Weddings and social celebrations are to be suspended until the situation improves. We urge you to observe strictly the health conditions as prescribed by Centre for Disease Control and World Health Organization. In this regard, you are advised to avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.Personal protective equipments including hand sanitizers, face masks, hand washing fonts with liquid soap dispensers to be provided. Thus, hand sanitizers should be handy at every church entrance.
Endeavour to cover your mouth and nose with handkerchiefs or bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze, and dispose the tissue immediately. In case you have fever, cough or difficulty in breathing, seek medical advice immediately.
We urge you to please isolate yourself at home within this period. Avoid going out unless when necessary. Prevention is hundred times better than cure!We appeal to all church leaders to ensure that this information gets to the grass roots and also ensure strict compliance. Ensure the vulnerable are not abandoned at this time and beyond.
Finally, we appeal to the standing committee on COVID-19 and the state government to cooperate with the church by providing the needful so that we can effectively control the spread of COVID-19 in Benue state.
Continue to pray for the safety of Benue State.
Thank you and God bless.

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