Letter to His Excellency, President C. Ramaphosa

Dear Sir, Your Excellency, President Cyril Ramaphosa

 Queries on the regulations of re-opening of Churches in covid-19 Level 1

The KwaZulu Natal Christian Council (KZNCC) and KwaZulu/Natal Church Leaders Group (KZNCLG) appreciate efforts by Government to curb the spread of Covid-19, and support these by regularly reminding all members of our congregations to adhere to Covid-19 regulations. We are doing this by developing a theology to understand better the coronavirus pandemic by looking closely at earlier pandemics, in order to discover scientifically proven processes and procedures for dealing with the phenomenon currently facing us.

With this in mind we call for the following:

  1. That Government reconsider the regulations announced on the 28th February 2021;
  2. That the numbers allowed for gathering under this lockdown level differ greatly from those of previous regulations for that level;
  3. That this difference be addressed in order to remove the inconsistency in government’s announcement;
  4. That the President and his team reconsider their decision on religious gatherings after meaningful consultations with Church Leaders.
  5. That government revert to the 50% of the venue’s capacity with Covid-19 health regulations and protocols strictly adhered to.
  6. That while in 2020 congregants had accepted the decision to suspend all Easter Services to support efforts to contain the COVID-19 pandemic, a year later with infections dropping and vaccines available, the Churches, leaders and members, are requesting a serious consultation with government.
  7. That government needs to hear the spiritual effects which ongoing closures have on communities and individuals.

No one knows how much this lockdown has cost the Church socially, psychologically, economically and spiritually. Many have had to close, unable to pay rent, rates and salaries. Since the Church’s mission is to support and care for the needs of the poor, it cannot simply ignore the extremely serious consequences that closing for extended periods has had on its ability to accomplish its vocation which besides the spiritual and emotional includes the social health and welfare of the community.

We remain committed to use the religious gatherings to educate to our congregants to adhere to all Covid-19 protocols for the safety of the community at large. That is the driving reason for engaging with government to find the most effective ways of serving the community, but the poorest of the poor in particular.

United with you in the service of God and His People.

Yours in Christ

                       

KZN Church Leaders’ Group Chairperson                            KwaZulu Natal Christian Council Chairperson                                  

+Wilfrid Cardinal Napier OFM                                       Bishop Nkosinathi Myaka