UGANDAN born televangelist Elvis Mbonye has called for the unconditional reopening of churches, describing worshipping as an essential service.
With several countries, including Zimbabwe, moving to ease Covid-19 lockdown measures, the Harare domiciled preacher said churches must not be left out.
Mbonye, who broadcasts his sermons on national broadcaster ZBC, urged preachers to speak with one voice in calling for the return of normal church services.
“What we have witnessed lately is an attempt to relegate the knowledge of God to something that is not of essential value. This left many Christians and other religious groups isolated in their homes and some even exuding great fear of the pandemic and failing to radiate confidence in Christ. However, as months went by and other non-essential services were reinstated in many countries, but religious institutions remained under lockdown, hence our call for the unconditional reopening of churches,” Mbonye said.
He said with the virus affecting several sectors, including churches, ministries adapted to alternative evangelism such as streaming prayer services online.
He said several people were plunged into fear following the outbreak of the virus resulting in phrases such as the “new normal” and that church leaders should not be on the forefront of living in fear.
“The new normal being pushed is different from the world God created for us. In the world that God created there is no fear. I want to assure you that greater is he that is in us than is in the world. Satan has been crushed, fear is not our portion.”
He also raised the debate between science and faith in the fight against the virus.
“People are saying in order for Christians to practice their faith, science has to first approve. If science doesn’t think you can practice your faith as scripture says, then you just cannot practice it. And it has become very prevalent. Science is taking the throne,” he said.
“It will be very disheartening if God happens to come and find his people are being taken away by the logic and deception surrounding the virus.”