President of the International Federation of Christian Churches and Rhema Church Pastor, Ray McCauley, says poor rural churches need relief aid, as they are struggling to survive during the lockdown.

McCauley says not many churches have resources and technological aids, least of all those in rural parts of the country.

He says those worst hit churches are struggling to keep their doors open and they need a lifeline.

McCauley says, “We want a partnership with government for relief aid. I think we want to initiate something across the country where the poor churches can be helped and churches that can afford to help must help them because they do not have the technology, they do not have a way and means that we have.”

In the video below, SABC’s Samkelo Maseko reports that decision to open places of worship was met with mixed reactions:

Churches may resume services

On Tuesday, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that church services may resume under Level 3 of the national lockdown.

Ramaphosa said the government understood the great impact that the closure of places of worship have had on members of the faith community, which he says has worsened the distress of communities who are unable to worship in congregation.

“Churches, synagogues, mosques, temples and other recognised places of worship may resume services, but these will be limited in size to 50 people or less depending on the space available.”

He however cautioned that social distancing will have to be observed and all worshippers and participants will have to wear face masks in line with the current regulations.

In the video below, President Cyril Ramaphosa addressed the media where he led a call for a National Day of Prayer.

Religious leaders welcome reopening of churches

Anglican Archbishop of Cape Town, Archbishop Thabo Makgoba says he welcomes the announcement with trepidation because of the enormous responsibility placed on them.

The South African Council of Churches’s Bishop Malusi Mpumlwana says churches should open properties for the victims of Gender-Based Violence.