Gauteng church leaders have gathered in Pretoria on Sunday morning calling on President Cyril Ramaphosa to allow religious gatherings to be permitted. This is ahead of the President’s address to the nation on Sunday evening.

Church leaders are calling for religious gatherings, with a limited number of people of up to 50% venue capacity, to be permitted.

Currently, under level four of the national lockdown, religious gatherings are prohibited in an effort to curb the spread of COVID-19.

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Church leaders in Gauteng say looting and violence, that were experienced in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) and Gauteng recently were as a result of a lack of guidance from religious leaders,

Pastor At Boshoff of the Christian Revival Church says the country desperately needs the guidance of religious leaders.

“Do we even see what is happening?  36 000 businesses closed down in KZN  because of a week of violence. Hundreds of thousands have lost their jobs on a scale like we have never seen. How many of those young people used to be in a church 2 years ago? Faithful church members, on fire for God. Now they have lost the plot. Why? Because they no longer have a house. They no longer have a place of safety. Don’t we get it? The decay and rot start spiritually. You remove spirituality from society and decay is the result,” says Boshoff.

National Convenor for Pastors Against Church Closure, Apostle Moafrika Wa Maila, says South Africans are in need of prayer and support from their religious leaders.

“It’s a fair and reasonable way to open churches in this pandemic. Remember that during Easter, we were told that the third wave will have after. We managed to curb the spread as the church by being compliant and following regulations. Spiritual support from the church plays a major role in the lives of people when they are going through a difficult time. They need spiritual support so that they don’t get to lose more lives.”