The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) and Living Faith Church Worldwide (a.k.a. Winners Chapel), have backed down on their insistence to hold Crossover services in churches on Thursday.
They announced, on Tuesday, adjustments in their programmes to ensure that none of their members violates the 12 midnight – 4am curfew imposed by the Federal Government as part of measures to contain COVID-19 spread.
The CAN aligned with government’s ban on watch night (crossover) service that usually heralds the New Year.
The association said the service, which normally extends to 12am on the first day of the year, should not hold, so that Christians can maintain a strict adherence to COVID-19, protocols.
But the Osun State government reviewed its position on the countdown to the New Year.
“The government has decided to allow crossover religious gatherings, being sensitive to the mood of the season. But any organisation holding crossover service must note that they are expected to close the service early and everyone must be off the streets by 1am,” Osun Commissioner for Information and Civic Orientation, Mrs. Funke Egbemode, said.
CAN’s National President Rev. Samson Ayokunle advised state chapters to adhere strictly to directives by relevant government authorities on the crossover night service.
“There is no sacrifice that is too much to put an end to the Coronavirus pandemic in the interest of all and sundry,” Ayokunle said in a statement in Abuja yesterday.
Already, the Ondo State government has vowed to prosecute any church leader that may violate its ban on the midnight service.
However, in Lagos State, the local chapter of CAN and the state government agreed that services should end by 11pm tomorrow.
In a memo to all parishes signed by its Assistant General Overseer (AGO) in charge of Admin/Personnel, Pastor Johnson Odesola, the RCCG said it will do live streaming of the Crossover Service tomorrow night.