By Ronald Joe Morovia
The lifting of the ban on congregational prayers was ushered with guidelines on the conduct of worship at churches and mosques across the country.
It’s been two weeks since the lifting of the and as Sierra Leone continues to battle the virus, adhering to specific guidelines during worship is mandatory on the part of religious institutions.
As part of assessing compliance level among religious institutions on the worship guidelines, Focus 1000 in collaboration with the Inter-Religious Council and Kombra Network has engaged religious leaders on ensuring preventive measures are adhered to. The workshop attracted heads of religious institutions brought together by Focus 1000 and is geared among other things to evaluate the level of adherence.
According to Alhaji Bailor Jalloh Chief Executive Officer, Focus 1000, the workshop with heads of religious institutions sought among other things to evaluate compliance of religious institutions to specific guidelines two weeks after resumption. The engagement also looked into challenges with regards adherence guidelines while finding ways to address them. The engagement was to also encourage religious leaders to enforce compliance of the guidelines in order to stop the spread of the Coronavirus. “We don’t want to go back to a situation where there we regret the opening of religious institutions,” he said. He added that there is possibility that religious institutions which fail to adhere to these guidelines will be forced to close.
Speaking on compliance level, President of the Inter-Religious Council, Shiek Abu Bakarr Conteh noted that compliance among worshipers is encouraging. He continued to state that adherence, especially the wearing of face masks seems challenging and therefore appealed to heads of religious institutions to enforce strict compliance. He further said that the council will continue to monitor enforcement and compliance among religious institutions. He added that because the document was developed by them they should be very active at ensuring and enforcing compliance.
The spokesperson of NaCOVERC, Solomon Jamiru Esq. commended Focus 1000 for their effort in tackling the Coronavirus in the country. He encouraged religious leaders to be vigilant to enforce adherence among their congregation, noting that the lifting of the ban on congregational prayers does not imply that the virus is gone.