As most churches, synagogues and mosques worldwide remain shut, religious leaders are taking faith online to ensure God’s word gets to the millions marooned by the pandemic. Religious services are being streamed on Facebook, Instagram while prayers are being posted by video link and timeless texts shared on cellphones to bring spiritual support to the hundreds of thousands of believers denied a place of worship. The highly contagious respiratory disease that originated in China has pushed governments on every continent to impose draconian lockdowns, hitting sport, shopping, travel and faith.
From China to the United States, many religious groups have suspended services and moved faith online, trying out new ways to stay close to their communities, as holy sites and public spaces also remain shut, changing the face of many world cities. Churches have historically been a place of sanctuary in times of crisis and closures have caused disarray. Besides broadcasting services, some have come up with novel initiatives to raise morale among those confined to home. In Nigeria, pastors hold divergent views on COVID-19.
Only those whose time has come will die—Adeboye
In Nigeria, Pastor Enoch Adeboye , the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christina Church of God, RCCG, says God told him world will be on compulsory holiday. Adeboye said he didn’t include this vision on coronavirus in the new year prophecy because he thought it would be a terror attack.
Pastor Enoch Adeboye describes Coronavirus as a compulsory public holiday from heaven. He said, “He told me loud and clear that the whole world will be on compulsory holiday. I knew the time the world got close to a compulsory holiday was when there was an attack on the World Trade Centre in America.
“So, when he said the whole world is going to be on compulsory holiday, I thought something like that was going to happen as it happened during 9/11.
Describing coronavirus as a public holiday declared from heaven, Adeboye said God will remove the plague once he achieved his purpose.
Adeboye also urged Nigerians not to panic as corona virus spreads across Nigeria, adding that only those “whose time has come” will die of the corona virus disease. Pastor Adeboye also said the pandemic will soon be over after God intervenes and lessons have been learnt by mankind that God is in control He said that the current COVID-19 outbreak ravaging the world will end soon.
“I have heard one prophet say the corona virus will soon die. And I said ‘amen’. You know prophets are greater than pastors. I heard that one prophet say corona virus will end by March 27 and I said ‘Amen’.
“There is no reason to fear, only those whose time has come will go (die). Also, if He is in your boat, your boat can never sink. But if He is not in your boat, who can you call upon when trouble comes? It is only in the family of God that there is security when trouble comes,” the RCCG overseer was quoted to have said.