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Open places of Worship, give religious leaders guidelines- Fr. Gaetano

KABALE- The Chairperson for Inter- Religious Council in Kigezi, Fr Gaetano Batanyenda, has appealed to government to reopen places of worship and give religious leaders guidelines to follow aimed at protecting Christian congregations from contracting the deadly coronavirus.

Several Catholic, Anglican leaders and Muslim religious leaders have on several occasions appealed to government to reopen places of worship, saying the world needs prayers to heal during this difficult time of the coronavirus pandemic.

President Museveni on March 18 imposed restrictions on worship places, schools and social gatherings to prevent the spread of coronavirus, no congregation during prayers have since been allowed. This has affected religious celebrations countrywide.

Speaking to our reporter in Kabale town on Friday, Fr Gaetano who is also the Parish Priest of Kitanga Catholic Parish of Kabale Diocese commended President Yoweri Museveni for easing the lockdown in different parts of the country but wonders why he has not yet opened places of
worship yet they are the only sanctuaries where people can run to seek hope, God’s control, guidance and safety during this global pandemic.

He said that President Museveni last month reopened different businesses including markets that attract large numbers of people as well as border districts where people are at great risk.

“We are not happy to see that he opened markets, like Omukikubo there are very many people but they don’t have face masks and leave places of worship closed yet we are ready to follow the guidelines aimed at containing the spread of the pandemic,’’ Fr. Gaetano  said.

“Set guidelines for religious leaders to follow but allow them to open, whether to conduct three or more masses a day but don’t say that they remain closed,’’ Fr Gaetano   added.

Fr Gaetano said that government fears that when they reopen places of worship, religious leaders will talk about what government has not done especially as we approach the forthcoming general elections.

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