Christian Churches Seek to Re-Open Soon

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Churches have since complied with the set SOPs and are hoping the authorities would allow them to re-open soon.

As the government continues to ease more restrictions under the recovery movement control order (RMCO), about 500 Christian churches across the country have applied to the Ministry of National Unity to re-open.

Located in Covid-19 green zones nationwide, the churches from numerous denominations had submitted their applications on June 6.

They are also waiting for approval from the Health Ministry before re-opening.

They were required to submit the names of their pastor/parish priest, size of their congregation and also built up area of their churches.

According to Rev Herman Shastri, who is the Council of Churches of Malaysia general-secretary, the new applications were not inclusive of the three Catholic and 64 Evangelical churches that were allowed to re-open two days ago.

He said the required standard operating procedures were already in place and the churches were ready to re-open.

“We are ready and will abide strictly with the set SOPs. We really hope the authorities will expedite the matter and allow us to re-open.

“This is for the churches that hold daily prayers. They (government) should (review the restrictions on churches now that) other sectors, such as shopping malls, restaurants and public transport, are open,” he said.

Recently, Senior Minister, Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said churches would be allowed to open for only one day a week, which is Sunday.

Shastri also urged Putrajaya to reconsider the restriction barring foreigners from houses of worship.

“We have a lot of expatriates who go to church. We hope the government can look into this.”

On Wednesday, an interfaith group said foreigners who wish to practise their faith should not face discrimination.

The Malaysian Consultative Council of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism and Taoism said foreigners who are in the country legally and who have tested negative for Covid-19 should be allowed entry into houses of worship.