The Covid-19 pandemic has been with us in Rwanda since March 14, 2020, two days after its arrival, the Government decided to close all churches, mosques and schools. The country has started fighting the outbreak since then and on March 21, 2020; the whole country was locked down. In May, 2020, some activities like markets, public and private businesses were resumed but churches and schools remained closed.
On July 15, 2020, the Cabinet meeting was chaired by His Excellence Paul KAGAME, the Head of State and one of its resolutions was embraced by all religious communities, that one was the reopening of places of worship after 127 days of closure. On July 19, 2020, the first places of worship were reopened and people were excited to enter the churches after more than three months without going there. The process of reopening churches was quite slow but progressive and guided by extremely tough requirements to be met before getting the license to reopen and the idea behind this slow reopening was to keep restraining the spread of the pandemic.
Shyogwe Diocese has got 115 operating places of worship in total and currently only 7 Places are reopened. The percentage of reopened places of worship in Shyogwe Diocese is 6.08%. So, this figure interprets the current situation of Shyogwe Diocese as follows: The parishioners are still struggling to meet the reopening requirements and the pastors and church workers are facing financial problems with most church activities curtailed. The Diocese is now in a great need of creating and innovating new ways and methodologies to reach its members .The church needs to develop the maximum use of online facilities, though it is quite expensive and not popular here. We all pray that the God’s perfect timing, for COVID-19 to Pass, will come quickly and return things to normal. AMEN
By Marcel SEBAHIRE