“If 50 people can hold a funeral together, why can’t 50 people worship the Lord together,” asks Bishop Malusi Mpumlwana, secretary general of the South African Council of Churches (SARK).
Pres. Cyril Ramaphosa said in his speech on Sunday night that he spoke to several religious leaders last week and that they agreed on “further discussions” to find a “workable solution”.
However, Mpumlwana says churches already had enough plans on level 4 to enable them to hold worship services again.
“There is a failure to see the role that churches play in society. Churches should not be classified with other social gatherings. ”
Ds. Cassie Aucamp, chair: Deputies of the Reformed Churches of South Africa (GKSA), pleaded in a statement on Monday.
“Worship services are currently prohibited in conjunction with sports, cultural and social events, while other events and activities that involve much greater risk are allowed on the basis of their necessity and economic output.
We call on the government to truly recognize the need for worship and the preaching of the Word.
Churches may not contribute to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to the same extent as mines and industries, but to the Gross Domestic Morale (GDP) of our people, which is indispensable in a time of crisis like the one we currently experiencing, ”the statement reads.
Dr. Wouter van Wyk, secretary: commission of the general church meeting of the NHKA (Reformed Church), made a plea that marriage ceremonies are also allowed under the same rules as funerals.
“The essence of the church involves more than just preaching the Word, but includes celebration, fellowship, testimony and service. We therefore advocate that small gatherings of no more than 50 people are allowed. ”
Dr. Gustav Claassen, general secretary of the Dutch Reformed Church, says they are waiting patiently for the Government Gazette .
“Worship services can still be allowed even if the president did not talk about it on Sunday. The regulations may say something different. “
Dr. Henri Weideman, general secretary of the AFM, says they are currently giving the president “a fair chance to respond as agreed”.