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Evangelical Lutheran Church of Tanzania cautions its faithful of Covid-19 risk

Sunday January 31 2021
Shoo
By Louis Kalumbia

Dar es Salaam. The Evangelical Lutheran Church of Tanzania (ELCT) released a Covid-19 alert circular instructing its leaders to provide believers with accurate information about Covid-19 for prevention.  

The document dated January 26, 2021 and signed by ELCT’s Head Bishop, Dr Fredrick Shoo, and addressed to diocese bishops and members of the National Council. In the document, Dr Shoo says reports made it that Covid-19 is kept spreading worldwide with new variants emerging as witnessed in various countries including the UK.

 He says, being part of the world, Tanzania cannot exclude itself from the rest of the world.

“Therefore, those among us who have been given responsibilities to guide and lead the people of God, we are obliged to provide skills and correct information to our people,” he says, adding. “Through this letter, I would like to ask you, through our unity to continue urging worship- pers and the general community that  despite the prayers and dependence on God, we shouldn’t stop taking precautions as per health experts.”

“It is our responsibility to take pre- caution. It doesn’t contravene our faith, neither it is a sin nor a criminal offense; rather we will be trying God by defying precautions,” according to the statement, reminding them how Jesus Christ was tempted by devil in the wilderness.

 He warns church leaders to avoid falling in the bad trial of tempting God over the novel coronavirus disease, saying through Hosea 4:6 God says “my people are destroyed from lack of knowledge.”

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The document says various sys- tems of life were destroyed world- wide last year following the outbreak  of the disease.

 “Despite those measures, consequences couldn’t be avoided. The church maintained prayers, while taking precautions. We are thankful that the church and people of other faiths went on meeting in different prayer houses to worship God,” reads the document.

On the same day, the Tanzania Episcopal Conference (TEC) President, Bishop Gervas Nyaisonga released a similar document instructing the church’s clergymen that measures should be put in place to control the spread of the novel disease.

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