Religious organisations gear up for opening under Level 3

Churches, mosques, temples, and other places of worship will be allowed to reopen under strict health protocols from tomorrow. Courtesy #DStv403

JOHANNESBURG - As the religious community gears up to reopen in Level 3, some institutions want more time to prepare.

Others say they're ready to hold services, albeit under very strict conditions.

Then there are those adapting to new ways of worship.

READ: Some Methodist churches may reopen

Word and Spirit Bible Church pastor, Manqoba Masilela said as much as he appreciates that places of worship can reopen next week, he says he will give it a miss and for now -- he prefers preaching online.

Masilela said, "we have been challenged to go down, look at different technicalities in terms of adhering to protect the citizens and it's been an interesting one as much as we welcome we will need more time to look at our capabilities and comply."

Other churches will reopen guided by strict conditions.

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Grace Bible Church Bishop Mosa Sono said they will open only for pastors, bishops, and overseers.

"We have been in discussion on our state of readiness," Sono said.

"We are starting [Monday] tomorrow to deep clean and have put together a document and who is eligible to come, people of certain age people who are vulnerable and ensure people fill out a questionnaire."

READ: COVID-19: Reopening churches a 'reckless' decision, says expert​​​​​​​

Some places of worship want more time to prepare.

Senior pastor from Endumisweni Covenant Church Sakhele Makhubo said they have decided not to open their churches yet.

"We need a lot of preparation and pandemic is very high in Gauteng and we must comply," he said.

READ: SA Council of Churches welcomes reopening of places of worship​​​​​​​

The Muslim community is also gearing up for the big week.

Houghton Masjid cleric Qari Yusuf Osman said he is looking forward to seeing worshippers.

"We need to be timeous and follow the regulations that our volunteers will be busy with for the time ahead," Osman said.

READ: Govt was not pressured to allow religious gatherings: Mthembu​​​​​​​

Masjid trustee Waseem Koor said, "we have taken protocols to abide by government and it's an important institution, we feel we have the responsibility for re-opening."

Religious leaders have made a commitment to comply with all key health protocols, but the big test will be once they start receiving worshippers.

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