Mount Zion Christian Centre in KwaZulu Natal is the latest church to cancel their Easter services amid the coronavirus pandemic that South Africa is dealing with.

Speaking to SABC Digital News earlier on Wednesday, Bishop KT Mkhize, said the church had decided to take the decision to comply with the regulations set out by the government in their interventions to curb the spread of the virus in the country.

South Africa currently has 709 confirmed cases of the virus with 91 cases reported in KwaZulu Natal, the church’s home province.

Mkhize says being sensitive to the dilemma the country is faced was the motivation behind their decision to cancel all services.

“Also understanding that this coronavirus is something that is beyond anyone’s control, so we do not want to against the word or the statement by the state president and chief commander, Bab’uRamaphosa. This is the time to be obedient to the authorities, particularly those who are in the know, particularly the Department of Health,” says Mkhize.

Following a couple of churches’ decision to cancel their Easter gathering, controversial pastor of the South African Zionist Churches, Bheki Ngcobo came guns blazing saying Ramaphosa was not God, urging churches to go ahead with the Easter service despite the dire health situation the country finds itself in.

Mkhize says it would be wrong for any church to ignore the well-being of their congregants and go ahead with any sort of gathering in clear contempt the ban on a gathering of more than a hundred people.

“The Bible is very clear that we should be submissive to every authority, and actually pray for the governing authority, because they are ruling by the command of God … I am not a scientist. I don’t anything about sicknesses or disease. I preach hope and I preach love. And I believe the God of hope and the God of love will never destroy his people.”

Earlier this week, leaders of other Zion churches in KwaZulu-Natal distanced themselves from a call made by Bishop Bheki Ngcobo for congregants to go in their numbers on the annual Easter pilgrimage.

In the audio below, Bishop KT Mkhize explains the church’s decision:

On Monday, President Ramaphosa announced a raft of measures meant to curb the spread of the virus in the country including, among others, a nationwide lockdown which is expected to come into effect on Thursday at midnight.

In the video below, President Ramaphosa addresses the nation on coronavirus:

Mkhize says they will be taking advantage of technology by streaming their services online.