NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 12 – The Catholic Church has resolved to reopen its doors to parishioners, for the first time after the government eased a ban on congregational worship in a bid to contain coronavirus infections.
The Catholic Archbishop of Nairobi, Cardinal John Njue, said the Catholic churches are set to re-open for in-person worship from Sunday, July 19.
Speaking during a televised Sunday Mass, Cardinal Njue said priests will be guided on how to effect the re-opening protocol from Tuesday, July 14.
“As the shepherd of the Arch-Diocese of Nairobi, I announce that all our places of worship shall officially be reopened on sunday July 19, but even if somebody does Mass on Tuesday or Wednesday before the re-opening it is still valid,” he stated.
Addressing the nation on Monday from Harambee House, President Uhuru Kenyatta said the country will commence with a maximum of 100 participants per service which he advised should last not more than an hour.
“At this time it is good to say thank you to the Government that we have come to the time where worship can start. We know that this can be improved more and more so that things can resume back to normal. But up to now they have given the opportunity to have the 100 people in our churches, of course here we need more,” Njue said during Sunday Mass held at the Holy Family Basilica.
This comes as several city churches including the Christ Is The Answer Ministries (CITAM), Parklands Baptist Church, Jubilee Celebration Centre, Nairobi Chapel, Deliverance Church International Ministries opted to have their places of worship remain closed amid the COVID-19 pandemic despite government allowing a phased re-opening of places of worship under strict containment guidelines.
In a statement shared on their respective social media platforms, they declared that their sanctuaries across the country will not reopen immediately in the wake of increased coronavirus infections citing the need for more time to monitor the situation.
Nairobi’s Jamia Mosque Committee also announced that the mosque shall not be reopening as envisioned.
“This is because the guidelines to limit prayers to only 100 persons per session are not practical for Jamia Mosque Nairobi given its centrality in the Central Business District of the City,” the committee said.