A group of pastors from various churches marched to Parliament on Friday to demand 100% capacity in their churches over the Easter weekend. Picture: HENK KRUGER/African News Agency (ANA)
A group of pastors from various churches marched to Parliament on Friday to demand 100% capacity in their churches over the Easter weekend. Picture: HENK KRUGER/African News Agency (ANA)

Pastors march to demand that lockdown rules be relaxed to allow 100% capacity for Easter church services

By Siyabonga Kalipa Time of article published Mar 27, 2021

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Cape Town - With the Easter Weekend a week away Pastors Against Church Closures protested on the streets of Cape Town to voice their concerns.

The provincial convenor of the pastors Zongamele Baliso said the first time they marched the government ignored them.

“We were asking to be taken seriously but our government doesn’t want to, so now we are declaring that we will not be stopped by the president,” he said.

He said they demand churches to be allowed to operate in 100% capacity.

Baliso said they want to be taken seriously and the government must respect them because they are never consulted when decisions affecting them are made.

The pastors said they found it hard to believe that church gatherings are among super spreader events because any event can be a super spreader if protocol is not followed.

“What makes us think that the same Covid-19 measures, including social distancing and hygiene protocols implemented in businesses, can't be practised at religious institutions, which usually only meet for a few hours a week?” asked the statement.

The statement said what pastors want is to minister to their congregants while following Covid-19 protocols. For the government to shut church doors, without proper consultation, was irrational and uncalled for.

The pastors said double standards imposed on churches are undeniable because taxis operate at 100% capacity, shopping centres remain open.

The statement further reads that there is no scientific evidence for South Africa’s lockdown rules pertaining to churches, most make no sense unless the motive is political or to quiet churches.

Baliso said after the Easter Weekend they do not want a situation where churches will be closed and there are other issues that they feel the government needs to respond to.

“We have given the government seven working days to respond to our memorandum of grievances if they do not we will continue making noise until we are heard,” he said.

Weekend Argus

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