Paul Osuyi, Asaba
A cross section of churches in Asaba, Delta State capital on Sunday conducted services but with compliance with the global standards of social distancing, regular hand wash with water and soap and application of alcohol based sanitisers.
This is in view of the growing concerns over the spread of the deadly Coronavirus disease also known as Covid-19.
The services, our correspondent learnt, were scantily attended by enthusiastic worshippers across the metropolis.
In some of the churches, worshippers were made to wash their hands with soap and running water before being counted and allowed into auditorium to ensure that people inside did not exceed 50 with social distancing also observed.
At Catholic Church of Assumption in Umuagu area of the city, church officials applied alcohol-based sanitisers on the hand of every worshipper before they were allowed in.
On a normal Sunday, four masses were conducted with three in the morning and one in the evening, but as of 11.15am on Sunday, 10 masses had been conducted with more to come.
The period for the masses was reduced to about 45 minutes, and was held simultaneously in front of the parish house and the church auditorium.
Our correspondent observed that it was one worshipper per pew in the expansive auditorium during one of the masses in which the customary hand shake for peace was skipped.
The officiating priest in one of the masses, Rev. Fr. Andrew Anah, attributed the current global scourge to the overwhelming sins of mankind against nature, and called for true repentance.
“One of the sins that Obama and other leaders held against former President Goodluck Jonathan and former Senate President, David Mark was because they refused to sign that man should be getting married to man in Nigeria.
“There is wickedness and evil in the world, and what we are experiencing now is the manifestation of how man has gone against nature. Man marrying man, woman marrying woman, not to talk of China where the disease came from. In China, they eat anything raw including rats and cockroaches.
“And they are now saying close churches as if the virus originated from the church. We are even lucky in Delta that the government allowed worship centres to operate but with compliance with the acceptable rule of social distancing,” he stated.
Fr. Anah, however, announced the suspension of masses at the parish till further notice.