By Amin Kef Sesay
Following a release from the Ministry of Social Welfare on Friday 20th March, 2020 strongly advising that with immediate effect all religious prayers, with special reference to Sunday Services, Friday Juma Prayers and Saturday Seven Days Adventist Prayers, be suspended until further notice, many people have considered this move by the Ministry as very untimely saying since the country has not recorded any case as of now and that His Excellency had not instituted any state of Emergency as by law then such a measure must not be instituted and enforced.
According to the General Overseer of the New Life Ministries International and President of Pentecostal Fellowship in Sierra Leone, Bishop J. Archibald Cole, political leaders best efforts can only be successful if they put their trust in God saying he is concerned and maybe apprehensive that in all that is seen to be done, no prominent place has been given to God and to prayers, adding that the scriptures admonished us: “Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain”. Psalms 127:1 (KJV).
He therefore admonished authorities to take note that even the superpowers who thought that they had all things under control have been brought to their knees. The Man of God said it is time to acknowledge the Lord and to ensure that they truly trust in Him and Him alone.
He said he is looking forward to prayers at the State House, prayers by the Task Force and prayers by Health Workers, Prayers all over etc.
He stated that the Body of Christ may be feeling bad by now as a result of the Press Release issued by the Ministry of Social Welfare with regards banning all Church Services on Sunday as negative as it may sound but urged them to comply.
“I am aware of the seeming imbalance of the Press Release, because the Friday Muslim prayers were already in progress, thereby appearing as if it is unfair. The church is a law-abiding, peaceful and a compliant institution. While it may appear that more clarification may be needed concerning the sudden change from the 100 people in public gathering to a complete ban on religious gathering, it is still my opinion that all of these actions are in good faith, until proven otherwise,” he noted.
He assured his humble Men of God that they shall dialogue with the appropriate authorities for clarification and specification where and when necessary, lamenting that as a church, they should be conscious that the church buildings may be closed but the church cannot be closed and they can continue to pray and call upon the name of the Lord, and continue to serve the altar of Jehovah in buildings or out of buildings. He noted that no authority can really stop the Body of Christ from praying and calling on the Name of the Lord saying they should all comport themselves as children of the most High God.
“Fellow members of the clergy, I humbly appeal to you all to show utmost maturity when communicating to your congregations. Once again, my suggestion is that we must all comply and complain later if we feel any ambiguity or abnormality in the dealings with the church. Let me conclude by making this Apostolic Declaration, Beloved, coronavirus is not your portion,” he underscored.