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Christian Leaders in Zambia to Hold Ecumenical Session “to pray against the Coronavirus”

Logo of the ecumenical prayer service scheduled for Sunday, February 14 in the Anglican Cathedral of the Holy Cross, Lusaka.

Christian leaders in Zambia are expected to hold a virtual ecumenical prayer service on Sunday, February 14 aimed at offering prayer “against the Coronavirus.”

In their Thursday, February 11 statement, the Christian leaders say that prayer session will be organized from the Anglican Cathedral of the Holy Cross in Lusaka by members of the “Three Church Mother Bodies”, which include the Zambia Conference of Catholic Bishops (ZCCB), Council of Churches in Zambia (CCZ), and the Evangelical Fellowship of Zambia (EFZ).

“The purpose of this Church Service whose theme is ‘In God We Put Our Trust’ will be to pray against the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) which has continued to threaten the world and claimed millions of lives world over,” the Christian leaders say in their message signed by CCZ General Secretary, Fr. Emmanuel Chikoya.

“It is our belief as three Church Mother Bodies that God is the only answer to the continued and even much deadly second wave of the Coronavirus Disease,” they add in the two-page statement obtained by ACI Africa

The landlocked country is among Southern African nations that have recorded a spike in what has been reported as the second wave of COVID-19, reportedly caused by a new strain of the disease. The others include South Africa, Malawi, Swaziland, Zambia, Mozambique, and Zimbabwe.

On 30 December 2020, Zambia’s Minister of Health, Chitalu Chilufya said that the country had confirmed cases of the COVID-19 strain identified as 501.V2 variant, which was first recorded in South Africa.

"We have seen clearly the pandemic returning with increased numbers. This clearly shows that the second wave is here. The call to action is for us to respond," the Minister was quoted as saying during a press conference.

The country has recorded at least 66,598 COVID-19 cases, and 59,989 recoveries. At least 914 people among them Bishop Moses Hamungole of Zambia’s Monze Diocese have succumbed to complications related to the disease.

“People from all walks of life are invited to virtually attend this ecumenical prayer service from the comfort of their Church buildings, homes and any other location where they will be,” the Christian leaders in Zambia say in their February 11 statement.

Ahead of the prayer service that is set to be streamed live on the Facebook pages of the “Three Church Mother Bodies,” the faith leaders urge the people of God in Zambia to “religiously adhere to all Ministry of Health preventive guidelines such as masking up at all times, observing social distancing, sanitizing, washing hands with soap and clean water, and taking plenty of water regularly.”

“We further urge the general public to seek medical attention early whenever they observe any sign of COVID-19,” they say and add, “The pandemic has reached everywhere in all the districts across the country, becoming a cross cutting matter.”

The Christian leaders in Zambia say that they “are certain without any doubt that COVID-19 can be drastically reduced by 80 percent if we all religiously abide by the rules and guidelines, coupled with fervent prayers.”

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