Currently, USA has the most number of confirmed cases of coronavirus in the world. Trump administration has asked people to observe quarantine seriously, but today, on the occasion of Palm Sunday, many churches have claimed to organize prayer meetings and gatherings for mass.
According to the Facebook post shared by Kelly Burton, pastor at Lone Star Baptist Church in Lone Star, Texas, "Satan's trying to keep us apart, he's trying to keep us from worshipping together. But we're not going to let him win." Here is how priests are asking 'believers' to gather to pray on the occasion of Palm Sunday, despite knowing the dangers of gathering at a time like this.
Church called Solid Rock in Ohio has been holding gatherings
Another church called Solid Rock in Ohio has been holding gatherings of at least 1,000 members regularly. The church plans to gather again for prayers on Palm Sunday, today. The news spread and the local mayor warned the church administration against holding gatherings and asked to keep the church closed. But in a reply, Solid Rock church on its website wrote that the church was taking necessary measures to ensure health safety of those coming for prayers. "We are open and continuing to practice and sustain our faith," it stated.
A similar opinion has been expressed by churches in Florida, Texas and California who have announced that they are keeping their doors open and inviting worshippers to attend Palm Sunday services. Reuters spoke to Tony Spell, the pastor from Louisiana who said on record that they are defying rules because the commandment of God is to spread the Gospel.
In a matter of concern which proves that gatherings can cause once evangelical church at Sacramento County in California has reported 71 positive cases. These 71 people are members of the church. Among the others who are not continuing the religious gatherings and prayers defying lockdown is the mayor of Thousand Oaks Rob McCoy who said communion will be offered on Palm Sunday but said that believers will sit with a gap of six feet between them.
These kinds of gatherings can prove dangerous as coronavirus can spread way faster than other means. People should learn from what happened in South Korea with Shincheonji cult members continuing to gather despite quarantine orders from the government, making Daegu the highest affected district in the country. Currently, the USA has 311,637 confirmed cases of coronavirus and so far 8,454 deaths have been reported.
What is Palm Sunday?
Palm Sunday is a Christian observed on Sunday before the Easter festival. The feast is a remembrance of the day Jesus' successfully entered Jerusalem. Palm Sunday is observed on the first day of Holy Week, that is also the last week of the Lent season. The Sunday after Palm Sunday is celebrated as Easter, the day Jesus is believed to have risen from the dead.