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Church must be considered as essential services



PASTORS have urged government to categorise churches as essential services so that they can operate.

A pastor from Glory Temples Ministries in Masvingo, Ntobeko Mhlanga, told NewsDay that churches were essential service providers as their mandate was to assist people spiritually and emotionally, as well as to save lives during times of distress.

“There is need for churches to petition the government so that we can be considered as essential services in order to assist people in trauma, distress and depression caused by fear and the effects of COVID-19 and the economic difficulties which are at alarming levels,” Mhlanga

“Churches are also essential services by their nature because they save lives,” he said.

Mhlanga said amid a contagious disease outbreak and deaths that have left most people heartbroken, there was need for spiritual healing.

Another pastor from the Apostolic Faith Mission in Mutare, Edmore Sibanda, said some pastors were being denied permission to pass through roadblocks despite that they woulwd be travelling to provide counselling services to their church members.

Sibanda said churches could not be considered as COVID-19 super spreaders in the same category as bars and restaurants.

Gatherings such as weddings, churches, at bars, bottle stores, gymnasiums and eating out at restaurants were banned during the COVID-19 lockdown period which will end in mid-February.

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