As churches scale down their Sunday services due to the coronavirus, some are taking advantage of technology to reach their members.
President Cyril Ramaphosa has issued guidelines prohibiting public hearings of more than 100 people at a time.
Reporter Tshepo Phagane visited Soweto to check how churches are dealing with the new regulations and what measures they have put in place to deal with the virus.
“At Regina Mundi Catholic Church there were fewer people than normal. When you enter the church, your hands get sanitised and it is the same procedure in a few churches I visited this morning. Most of these churches have scaled down on Sunday worship and they are encouraging church members to follow preachings and church services on radio and on line streaming services where they have a presence. Some churches have created Whatsapp groups and the priest will post short videos of them preaching on daily bible verses. What is common among these churches is their support for these measures announced by the President,” says Phagane.
If a pastor says come to church today,
Tell him you will pray from home.
If a pastor says there’s hand sanitiser,
Tell him it is useless if an infected person coughs or touches you.
If your pastor says there’s thermometer,
Tell him to measure himself if his head is correct.
— #OurFavOnlineDoc ? (@DrOlufunmilayo) March 22, 2020
Meanwhile, the People’s Church in Polokwane, Limpopo has held an online service. It has closed its doors since the President Cyril Ramaphosa declared the coronavirus a national disaster and imposed restrictions on mass gatherings. This is in a bid to curb the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In Limpopo, only one person who is a medical doctor, has so far tested positive for the coronavirus.
The church’s Pastor Kholofelo Cele has sent his congregants sermons online.
The International Pentecost Holiness Church has shut down all its gatherings and church services until further notice.
The church, which has 340 branches across the country, says it acknowledges the severity of COVID-19 and supports the regulations that the government has put in place.
In this video, church leaders place measures against coronavirus