COVID-19: Rwandan churches resort to online platforms for New Year's Eve services

APA - Kigali (Rwanda)

While most Rwanda churches will be closed for New Year's Eve services this year because of the coronavirus crisis, some religious entities announced Wednesday their option to use Zoom and YouTube to hold their traditional prayers.

While the New Year's  Eve e has long been a celebration that brings together the Christian  faithful to rejoice in their belief through church services the night  before the new year, some religious leaders have decided to maintain these traditions without bringing large numbers of people together.

Speaking  during an interview with APA, one Pastor who leads a Restoration Church  in Kigali noted that it is important to emphasize that suspension of in-person gatherings due to COVID-19 is not a suspension of worship.

"There  is still option to rely on various online platforms and support online  worship," the religious leader speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue in Rwanda.

Rwanda's Roman Catholic Church  has issued a statement calling on parishes to use hygiene practices and reminding followers they are not obligated to attend Mass if they are sick.

So far the Rwandan capital Kigali's iconic fireworks display on New Year's Eve has been cancelled due to fears of a new wave of COVID-19 infections.

The recent spike in Covid-19 cases in Rwanda prompted the  government to institute new measures to deal with the virus spread, including extending curfew hours.

Rwanda has reported four new deaths in the last 24 hours, bringing the number of fatalities up to 79.


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