Monkeypox: Churches hold special prayers, deliverance services
Churches in the southern part of Nigeria have started organising special prayers and deliverance sessions for their members in order to avert the monkeypox disease.
Punch correspondents learnt that some church leaders in some states in the South-East and South-West geopolitical zones maintained that the outbreak of the disease was spiritual.
They stated that only miracles as a result of prayers and deliverance sessions could heal the victims and prevent others from contacting it.
A pastor in Dominion Assembly International in Akure, the Ondo State capital, Mr. Gideon Adeyemi said his church organised a special prayer session apart from educating his members on the effect of the disease and how to prevent it.
He said, “We thank God that the disease has not affected anyone in Ondo State but not withstanding we did will not keep quiet. We are praying to God so that it will not be victims. We are also counseling our members to always listen to radio programmes to know the precautions that the government advised us to take against the disease.”
A Catholic priest at St. finbarrs Church Umuahia, the Abia State capital, Rev. fr. James Obosike said the church was awaiting necessary directives from the district to go ahead and hold a special prayer mass.
He said, “We are in trouble in Nigeria so we need to pray for good health, good governance, justice and the fight against corruption starting with ourselves.”
Also, the High Priest of the Light of God spiritual church in Umuahia, Apostle Chidi Asonye justified the decision of his church to organise special prayers, stressing that Christians are expected to pray without ceasing against sickness and diseases.
While making reference to the Holy Bible, he sighted the experience of the Israelites and how God preserved them Egypt.
He said, “The Church is organising prayer sessions so that the evil disease will pass away and should not enter the homes of the children of God. The arrow that flies at night will not come to us.”
The Director of Media and communications of the Owerri Catholic archdiocese in Imo State, Rev Fr.George Nwachukwu, told SUNDAY PUNCH that apart from the spiritual intervention which the church is seeking against the monkeypox outbreak, the archdiocese was involved in medical and social sensitisation of the congregation.
Nwachukwu said, “The archdiocese is fully on the alert, especially as cases of monkeypox have been recorded in Bayelsa and Akwa Ibom states. We are praying to God to send this disease back to where it came from because we are humans, not animals. We have to pray, do our best and leave the rest to God.”
The Ebonyi State chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria has also commenced intensive prayers and sensitisation for its members towards averting any possible outbreak of the dreaded disease in the area, according to the association’s Vice Chairman, Revd Stan Nwokolo.
Meanwhile, tourists are not deterred and have been playing with ‘white-throated’ monkeys in Osun-Osogbo sacred groove.
One of Punch correspondents who visited the groove at Isale Osun area of Osogbo on Friday observed this.
Some of the visitors were seen having physical contact with the monkeys as they offered them bananas and other fruits.
The Chief Museum Education Officer of the National Commission for Museums and Monuments, Mr. Yinka Adesiyan, said, “Tourists and worshippers have continued to come here despite the outbreak of monkeypox. I can say that the white-throated monkeys here do not have Ebola or monkeypox virus.”