The Ethiopian Orthodox Church has reopened churches which had been closed in early April as part of an effort to stem the spread coronavirus pandemic.In a statement on Thursday, the Holy Synod of the church announced the resumption of the church services yet the government did not comment on the decision the church.
The rationale behind the Synod’s decision was that “the disruption of Church services has affected the spiritual lives of the congregation and tens of thousands of people around the over 20, 000 churches were subjected to hunger following disruption of hands outs from the faith full.
The decision to close churches had been controversial at that time. Many had asked if Church services could not be carried out with the care necessary to avoid the spread of the virus and how the Church can disrupt services that are considered essential like Christening of children and funeral prayers.
The Holy Synod advises the faithful that the prayers should be done while all the necessary cautions to prevent the spread of the pandemic are in place.
According to a report presented by a team established by a church to avoid the spread of the virus inside Church compounds, the police had intervened, unasked, in the matter and begun guarding doors of churches and acted in ways that are considered offenses as per the tradition of the Church.
Moreover, they had also taken forceful measures against members of the clergy and the congregation.