The National Council of Churches in the Philippines (NCCP) called on member churches to revert to the holding of online religious services due to the increasing number of new coronavirus cases in the country.
Bishop Reuel Marigza, general secretary of NCCP, issued the appeal on Sunday, August 2, after medical frontliners called on the government for a “time out” by reverting back to an “enhanced community quarantine,” especially in Metro Manila.
“In keeping with the general call, we are hereby appealing to our churches to revert back to online worship services, for the sake of helping curb the spread of the virus,” read the Protestant group’s statement.
“We had been reminded during the pandemic that the Church is not the building, but people congregating in worship,” Bishop Marigza added.
He also stressed that the call is not a curtailment of the “freedom of worship or religion.”
“It is a voluntary action on the part of churches to contribute to the common good and common welfare,” said Bishop Marigza.
He said that in Baguio City, although under the “modified general community quarantine,” religious leaders have agreed with city officials to temporarily suspend on-site services for two Sundays and revert back to online or virtual worship services.
“Let us continue to pray for the healing of our nation, and let us do our part to help slow down and eventually halt the spread of the COVID-19 virus,” said the bishop.
The Philippine Council of Evangelical Churches (PCEC) did not issue a call for the suspension of religious services because they have yet to resume their religious activities in the National Capital Region (NCR).
“All of our NCR churches and those under ECQ and general community quarantine (GCQ) have carefully followed Inter Agency Task Force rules of no religious gathering,” said Bishop Noel Pantoja, PCEC national director.
“We have strongly encouraged online worship services, meetings, training, wedding, funerals, wedding and even ordination of pastors,” he added.
In the weekend, the Catholic Archdiocese of Manila and the Diocese of Cubao suspended all public liturgical services from August 3 to 14 as a response to the call of the medical frontliners.
Leave a Reply