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The Church is not shut down

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Paul Gershinen Dajur

The Church is neither the building nor denomination. It is rather the Body of Christ (Believers).

In the bid to contain the spread of COVID-19 pandemic by enforcing social distancing, church congregational activities had to be minimised or closed down in different places. This is not quite a thing to worry about, since the essence is to curb the spread of what is destroying many people, including church members. But the church rightly refers to the body of Christ or the believers in Christ, and as such, it is appropriate to say that no one has shut down the church and, indeed, no one can shut down such a church. It is on historical records that every attempt at shutting down the church (body of believers in Christ) has been utterly unsuccessful. When the temple was not available in exile, the synagogues came into existence. When persecution raged against the disciples and other believers in Christ, they worshipped in Catacombs. When Boko Haram destroyed (and they are still destroying churches) in the North East of Nigeria, the believers have continued to worship their God in groups and in other places of safety and the IDP camps.

It is not true that the church has been shut down, when believers were asked not to gather together to curb a ravaging virus.

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Having said this, today in the FCT, the doors of churches were left open for those who wishing to commune with God personally, and it was so, even though there was any form of corporate worship in the interest of every worshipper and in accordance with government directives. The real and true church is, the believer in Christ Jesus. If you believe in Jesus Christ as your Saviour and LORD, you are the church. Our experience right now is as rightly captured by a sermon I read on Social media recently – away from church to being the church (my paraphrase). May we continue to pray for the end of this pandemic, so that we may resume our fellowship. However, while the challenge lasts, be conscious of the fact and the truth that YOU are the church, and you must be the church wherever you find yourself.

This is my simple clarification in the conversation on the matter of the shutting down of the church.

The Venerable Paul Gershinen Dajur, Ph.D. is the General Secretary of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion).

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