The President of Nigerian Pastors Association in South Africa (NPASA), Bishop Ranti Famodun says Covid-19 is a spiritual battle and there have been sicknesses, sorrows and deaths beyond the pandemic as the people are far from God, becoming vulnerable to satan.
The General Overseer of the Divine Spring of Life International Ministries thanked the President Cyril Ramaphosa led administration for its sincerity and genuine humility in this critical time but said the government in every cadre must not undermine the role of the church in the matter. “The solution is in Jesus Christ. Jesus is the way. Our President in South Africa is African Union Chairperson. That means he’s the overseer of Africa (spiritually)”.
After the President hinted the details of Alert Level 3 and indicated that places of worship will still be under locks and keys, many pastors operating in South Africa felt disappointed, saying the President prefers many frivolous and worldly things to the worship of God.
Though President Ramaphosa clearly indicated he’s still in on-going consultations with religious leaders, many of them believe some of the companies, organisations and institutions that would operate (in any way) under Level 3 are not more important than the churches.
Bishop Famodun said the Church of God is marching on and cannot be stopped whilst confirming that his church and some other churches are compliant to all precautionary measures the government has advised and hopefully prays the government would allow churches operate soon.
In his words: ‘The church has a saving grace to save the world in these trying times but the world seems not to see it. The church is needed more than ever. We have helped in our own little ways to give food parcels as palliative measures”.
When asked if worshippers in the church won’t dance or the pastor lay hands on people to observe social distancing, he said: “The Bible says we must respect those in authority and we know the precautionary measures are for the safety of the people. Also, we don’t lay hands anyhow. The Bible advised we shouldn’t lay hands on people suddenly. We would dance but we would use Godly wisdom to express our joy yet minding the social distancing rule”.
He lamented that many people are distressed and they need prayers, counselling to be free from fear, stress, anxiety and sickness. He advised the government not to understimate the role of the church now, before and in future.
“We are ready to use masks to preach. We have trained some of our people on the World Health Organisation precautionary measures. Our ushers, protocols, securities and other departments are ready,” he concluded confidently.
Bishop Famodun’s ministry is situated at 173 Helen Joseph (President Street) corner Mooi in Johannesburg.