- Winners Chapel has reacted to the backlash it came under for holding services on Sunday, March 22
- The church in a statement revealed it held Sunday worship to sensitise its members amid the coronavirus pandemic
- The Lagos and Ogun state government had already placed a ban on more than 50 people gathering or meeting
Living Faith Church, popularly known as Winners Chapel, has issued a statement following the backlash the church received for holding Sunday service despite the ban on large gatherings in Ogun where the church is located.
The church revealed that it went ahead to hold its regular Sunday service to sensitize and mobilize its members against the dangers of deadly coronavirus spreading across the country.
This was disclosed in a statement signed by Steve Ogah, the special assistant to the founder of the church, David Oyedepo, and made available to Legit.ng.
Ogah in the statement went on to explain that the service which held on Sunday had less than half of its regular worshippers in attendance.
The statement reads in part: "There has been diverse responses varying from well-meaning concerns to uncharitable insinuations, misinterpretations, and unfounded allegations that the service was held in deliberate defiance of Ogun State Government ban on high-density gatherings, in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic. Nothing can be further from the truth.
For avoidance of doubt, as stakeholders and as a responsible organisation, Living Faith Church fully supports and encourages compliance with all initiatives of government to combat the spread of this dreaded virus.
However, information has to be strategically disseminated to the grassroot, noting that the Church is a family and not an industry, it is for this reason that enlightenment and sensitization from the Church platform is a most effective way to get people involved in playing their part in terms of prayers and intercessions and not just staying away from Church without knowing what to do.
Indeed, the service was devoted entirely to sensitizing and mobilizing members of the Church regarding the danger of this deadly virus and the need to comply with government directives."
The founder has since clarified the issue with the Ogun state government and reiterated the church's full support to ensure public safety, towards curbing the spread of COVID-19.
Legit.ng previously reported that a Nigerian doctor identified as Olufunmilayo took to the popular micro-blogging platform, Twitter, to call out Winners Chapel for holding a Sunday service amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The doctor shared a series of posts on the platform criticising the church. According to him, despite everything the church still held a full service with thousands of people in attendance. He went ahead to share photos from the live stream of the service.
In a related development, the general overseer of Living Faith Church, Bishop David Oyedepo, has given a prophetic declaration on the global pandemic called coronavirus.
Speaking at a service held in Canaanland, Ota in Ogun state, on Sunday, March 22, Oyedepo said that God has a solution for the virus.
The cleric said: “Plagues cannot stop us. Coronavirus cannot stop God’s children, but I assure you that the solution will be found this week. “Only the help of God can save us, our markets are open so there is no way to curb this but only God can save Africa from this pandemic."
It would be recalled that the Ogun state government on Thursday, March 19, extended the ban on high-density gatherings to all schools and religious activities in the state as the dreaded coronavirus continues to spread across the country.
This was disclosed in a series of tweets from the official Twitter handle of the state governor, Dapo Abiodun. From the tweets, all schools will remain closed indefinitely after the close of the institutions on Friday, March, 20. The governor also noted that any religious activities of fifty or more with immediate effect are banned.
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