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Muslims, Christians Convert Homes To Worship Centres

By Ismaeel Uthman Following the closure of mosques, churches and other worship centres by the State Government of Osun, adherents of the two dominant religions: Islam and Christianity, have converted their homes to worship centres. Findings by OSUN DEFENDER have revealed that apart from daily morning devotions by some Christian families, they have also been…”
Yusuf
May 3, 2020 10:01 am

By Ismaeel Uthman

Following the closure of mosques, churches and other worship centres by the State Government of Osun, adherents of the two dominant religions: Islam and Christianity, have converted their homes to worship centres.

Findings by OSUN DEFENDER have revealed that apart from daily morning devotions by some Christian families, they have also been holding some regular religious programmes and Sunday services with some of their neighbours.

Some Muslim homes have also been holding the five-daily regular prayers (solat) in congregation with their neighbours during this lockdown period.

This practice, the medium noted, is common to some developing communities on the outskirts ofOsogbo, the state capital, likeOkinni, Owode-Ede, Ofatedo and other areas. Some remote areas of the state are also involved in this practice.

Some Muslim homes in Ikirun, Ede, Eripa, Ila and Osogbo held the Ramadan night prayer (Taraweeh) in congregation with some other people who are not part of their families.

Muslims praying at home

OSUN DEFENDER noted the sound of bell in some Christian homes would be on for about two hours every Sunday, with chorus prayers and amen intermittently. But there was no musical instrument used during the service, it was observed.

Christians praying at home

The Chief Imam of Osogboland, Sheik Musa Animashaun had last week said that Taraweeh prayers in congregation as well as Tafsir during the day are all prohibited, in line with the current emergency regulations of the state.

Animasahun said Muslims are allowed to pray at their various homes; but should not be joined with people who are not living with them.

In his reaction, the Chairman, Christian Association of Nigeria, Osun Chapter, Revd Amos Ogunrinde said: “Prayers cannot be locked down. We must pray to God. It is prayer that can bring lasting solution to our problems as regards this COVID-19 pandemic. If we cannot go to church, then individual families can meet and pray since father, mother and the children will sit in their house to eat and discuss.

“On the issue of neighbours joining a family to pray, we don’t know their number altogether. if a husband and his wife go and meet another family of husband and wife, that makes them four, which means they will sit on separate chairs in line with social distance procedure, it could still be within acceptable standards.

“My own stand is that as long as they can take precaution, wash their hand and rub it with sanitiser, maintain social distance; avoid handshake, hug, use nose mask and follow all other regulations on the curtailment of the Coronavirus pandemic in their house, there is nothing wrong in praying together.

“But we don’t encourage people gathering together in large numbers, because of community transmission.”

Ogunrinde called on the state government to make sure that Osun borders with other states remained shut and further ensure guiding against compromise that would make people to be coming into the state indiscriminately in spite of the border closure.

In his reaction, the Chairman, Osun State Muslim Community, Alhaji Mustafa Olawuyi described the practice as ‘ill conceived’, warning the Muslims against flouting the rules and regulations on the management of the spread of COVID-19.

“We must all come together to ensure that this pandemic is rid of in the state. We don’t know who is infected with the virus, so we must not gather anywhere so that the infected person would not come and join the gathering. We don’t want this pandemic to spread. All the people in such practice should desist”, he said.

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