Places of worship reopen after 127 days

By Nicole Kamanzi M.
On 20 July 2020 at 12:35

After 18 weeks of Christians not getting together in the houses of worship due to measures to prevent the spread of Coronavirus, this Sunday they gathered again.

It was a day of great rejoicing for those who were able to gather in places of worship and pray, 127 days after the churches were closed.

However, some places of worship postponed their reopening due to the fact that some have yet to line up their requirements; the ones that have been completed have been cleared while others are waiting.

IGIHE journalists went to the City of Kigali, as well as in other parts of the country, to see how the standard operating procedures were being followed.

Social distancing was the order of the day and there were no handshakes or hugs, which are the known modes of greeting among the faithful. Mass celebrants and the clergy wore masks and there was no holy communion.

After a temperature check and handwashing with clean water or hand sanitizer, believers went through their registration so that they can be monitored easily when needed.

Many of those who had turned up for the Sunday services returned home without attending due to overcrowding.

At ADEPR Muhima it was necessary to set up loudspeakers outside so that people could follow the teachings, while also continuing to be sensitized to follow the instructions.

Pastor Théogène Kanamugire, leader of the ADEPR Muhima, said they were well prepared to receive people while respecting the Coronavirus prevention measures.
"It is a happy day, we ask Christians that as we are rejoicing, we should observe the instructions," said Pastor Kanamugire.

At the Cathedral of St Michel Parish, a digital system has been put in place to help members register and place people in such a way that allows them to know who will be attending what mass.

Father Innocent Consolateur, head priest at Saint-Michel Cathedral said the digital system works perfectly and makes it easier for people not to waste time registering on the church line.

"In the English Mass at 3 p.m., many were using this digital system and there was no problem. It also has a better approach when reporting to the relevant authorities," he said.

In the Western Province, there are some districts that saw Christians gathering such as Rubavu, while others such as Rusizi have held meetings but churches allowed to open are only in Kamembe Sector.

In Musanze, when arriving at the church, a group of trained people were testing temperature using special devices, others were writing down people and phone numbers at the entrances of churches.

In the Eastern province, home to almost 4000 churches; only 45 of them were allowed to reopen, these churches are in 6 districts except in Gatsibo, where no church was allowed to open.

At the Cathedral of St Michel Parish, a digital system has been put in place to help members register
Social distancing was the order of the day and there were no handshakes or hugs, which are the known modes of greeting among the faithful.

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