the standoff over the reopening of churches continues

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Libreville and the churches are now in conflict over the possible opening of places of worship. Faced with the coronavirus pandemic, the Catholic Church has decided to reopen its chapels on Sunday, October 25, while the state has imposed the date of October 30 with believers’ obligation to present a negative test before entering places. The church cries out for repression after seven months of closure.

At a press conference on Friday 23. October, the spokesman for the President of the Republic, Jessye Ella Ekogha, was firm: places of worship must not be opened Sunday, October 25th. “There is no opposition between the government and religious denominations. It is the precautionary principle to ensure that the peoples are not our countrymen threatened by this pandemic‘He summed up.

Opponent Alexandre Barro Chambrier, president of the Rassemblent pour la patrie et la modernité (RPM), wondered why the government engaged in a farewell to the Church by refusing to open churches on the date announced by religious leaders, and above all by banning communion and sacrificial offerings. “Why does the government choose to impose the date on October 30 at all costs? What benefit does he get in the response to coronavirus by delaying this opening for five days? “He said.

Positions crystallize, voltages are mounted. François Louncény Fall, representative of the UN Regional Office for Central Africa (Unoca), in his mission to prevent conflicts, went to the Interior Minister’s office on Friday 23. October to offer its good offices.

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