The Christian Council of Ghana has welcomed President Akufo Addo’s lifting of the restriction on the number of congregants worshiping at a time in churches.

The President had the cause to limit the number of worshippers in Churches and Mosques to hundred(100) people at a time in a bid to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

In his 14th address to the nation on Sunday night on measures his government has put in place to curb the spread of the virus, President Akufo-Addo announced that effective August 1, 2020 there will be no restrictions on the number of congregants worshiping at a time in churches and the mosques.

He added that the length of time for worship has been extended from one to two hours.

“In consultation with our Church leaders, from 1st August, 2020, the restrictions on the number of congregants worshipping at a time in Church will be lifted, with the length of worship extended from one (1) to two (2) hours per service.

“Church leaders, who are desirous of implementing this enhanced easing directive, must ensure that congregants wear face masks at all times, and the one (1) metre social distancing rule is scrupulously applied. These same guidelines apply to worship in our Mosques,” the president said on Sunday.

He added: “With greater numbers of congregants likely to return for worship, I would, respectfully, ask the religious leaders to pay even greater attention to the fresh air ventilation of their premises, rather than relying on the use of air conditioners.”

Commenting on the President’s announcement, the Chairman of the Christian Council of Ghana in an interview with Host Bonohene Baffuor Awuah on Anopa Kasapa on Kasapa 102.5FM, Rt. Rev. Dr. Paul Kwabena Boafo expressed gratitude to President Akufo Addo for granting their request.

We’re excited by the announcement of the President, the one-hour service was too restrictive. When we go to church we don’t only go to pray and leave church services are part of our social life during which certain issues can be discussed. We have times during services that we have intercessory prayers, in our orthodox churches we have three Bible reading every Sunday and by so doing we’re able to read the whole Bible in three years. But we were limited to only one reading, and singing one stanza of our hymns. There were many things we couldn’t do because of the one-hour duration of church services. That was too restrictive, I think with the two hours it’s better and we can manage. We’re grateful to the government for listening to us.”