Churches in Zambia have cancelled services to prevent the spread of cholera.

The Council of Churches in Zambia (CCZ) announced that services in the capital are not allowed “to hold church programs on Sunday and any other day until further notice,” reports Anglican News.

In a memo to the Zambian dioceses of the Church of the Province of Central Africa, the CCZ strongly advised church leaders to practice a high level of personal hygiene and sanitation in and around church premises. Handshakes, hugs, and communal foods are also prohibited from the time being.

Some pastors, however, denounced the ban on church activities. They revealed that soldiers barged into churches in Lusaka and forcefully dispersed the people gathered inside the building, reports Lusaka Times.

Areas which are less affected by the outbreak are allowed to conduct Sunday services and meetings, provided that it is a short worship. Congregants are urged to go home afterwards.

Health Minister Chitalu Chilufya instructed churches to provide hand washing facilities, hand soaps, and hand sanitizers for its members. He added that church gatherings should be a venue for educating people about the facts about the infectious disease.

Some pastors, however, denounced the ban on church activities. They revealed that soldiers barged into churches in Lusaka and forcefully dispersed the people gathered inside the building, reports Lusaka Times.

Rev. Canon Emmanuel Chikoya, the general secretary of the CCZ, called on the Christians to support the government’s campaign against cholera.

“It must be well noted that faith without works is dead,” Rev. Chikoya said. “We must stand together with government, all political stakeholders to effectively contribute towards eliminating the cholera challenge and prevent it from becoming a national catastrophe.”

The Zambian government disclosed that 3,000 people have been infected with cholera, and 67 people have died.

“Zambia is experiencing one of the worst outbreaks of cholera in years,” Dr. Nathan Bakyaita, the WHO Representative to Zambia.

The government started a mass cholera vaccination program and would deliver 2 million doses of cholera vaccination to the epicenters of the outbreak.

Sources:
Anglican News
Lusaka Times

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Joyce has more than 15 years experience writing news, industry articles and blogs for the private and public sectors. Most of her career was spent writing technical documentation for a software company in the Philippines. She earned a B.A. in Communication Arts with a concentration in writing from the University of the Philippines, Los Baños. During her leisure time, Joyce pursues her interest reading fiction and playing with her dogs. She can be contacted at Joyce@onechristianvoice.com.