- Title: Africa's Christians take different approaches to worship over coronavirus fears
- Date: 22nd March 2020
- Summary: LAGOS, NIGERIA (MARCH 22, 2020) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF COUPLE WORSHIPPING AT HOME
- Keywords: Africa Coronavirus Kenya Nigeria churches religion
- Reuters ID: LVA001C64V0HZ
- Location: LAGOS AND ABUJA, NIGERIA / NAIROBI, KENYA
- City: LAGOS AND ABUJA, NIGERIA / NAIROBI, KENYA
- Country: Various
- Duration: 00:00:21
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Topics: Health/Medicine
- Story Text: Worshippers in Nigeria turned to the internet to connect with God on Sunday (March 22), while in Kenya hand sanitizer replaced holy water at Nairobi's Holy Family Basilica Catholic Church, but mass went on despite seven confirmed cases of coronavirus in the country.
In Lagos, Chika Paul-Oboh and her husband prayed from home using a webstream of a church service, but fellow Nigerian Christians in Abuja attended mass with reduced contact and warnings from the clergy that stricter measures may have to be put in place if the virus continues to spread.
Nairobi's Holy Family Basilica Catholic Church increased the number of masses on Sunday to accommodate all of those willing to pray. But according to Father David Kamumue the service was attended by about 300 people, instead of the usual congregation of 5,000.
A few miles away in the slum of Kibera, the clergy said they were hoping the coronavirus could be defeated by prayer.
Africa, with the highest number of Christians of any continent, reflects how churches around the world are struggling with coronavirus. Globally, authorities are vying to contain the spread of the disease by closing or limiting worship, disrupting Sunday services just before Easter.
Africa's battle with coronavirus could be won or lost in those churches, as the continent's confirmed cases rise to almost 1,200 with more than 30 deaths, according to the World Health Organization. That lesson was learned in South Korea, where more than half of its thousands of cases were tied to just one congregation.
(Production: Edwin Waita, Angela Ukomadu, Maria Vasilyeva, Seun Sanni and Abraham Achirga)
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
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