Among other things, the public health regulations mandate the closure of all churches, schools, entertainment centers, mosques , casinos, amongst others in an effort to curtail the spread of the deadly Coronavirus, which has claimed several precious lives around the world.
Currently, Liberia has reported three confirmed cases of the Coronavirus, with the patients undergoing treatment.
The Action Faith Philadelphia Church is situated in Duport Road, First Cow Field Junction, Paynesville, outside Monrovia.
The crack team of police officers, who left no stone unturned in the execution of the health regulation that forbids mass gathering, asked the pastor and his congregation out of the church building.
Thereafter, the police confiscated the church instruments and forcibly locked the church in the presence of the church authorities on account that they had defied government's order that all churches should be closed for atleast 21 days in an effort to contain the spread of the already three cases of Coronavirus in the country.
Prior to the police action, the law enforcement officers blew their siren for about 15 minutes in order to draw the attention of the pastor and his congregation to vacate the church peacefully, but they did not heel to the police siren warning, prompting the police with no option, but to move into the church forcibly.
The action of the police drew the attention of several community dwellers and passersby with some supporting the police' action and others condemning it.
Meanwhile, the Head Pastor of the locked church, David Gbayan, has said he was disappointed in the manner and form in which the police forcibly moved into the church.
According to him, his church is a law abiding church that does not violate government's mandate, but attributed their presence in the church for worship service to poor information dissemination from the government's armresponsible to provide information to the public, particularly about the Coronavirus.
" I am disappointed in the information dissemination arm of the government. We were misinformed and that led us to worship today,” "PastorGbayan told the Heritage.
He pointed out that instead of the government through the LNP providing education why people shouldn't be in service during service time, they attacked the church, something which he described, as a total joke to the fight against the virus.
" This approach by government to chase us out of church, seized our instruments and lock the church door will not be taking seriously. This undermines the fight against the virus. I see this as personal attack on the church. Fight with education and not in such manner,” stated PastorGbayan.
“If the government is serious to close all churches, the government should in the same vein apply such measure at market places and filling stations where people are usually seen overcrowded,” he intimated.
Unlike other businesses, he said the church is a unique area of worship and should be respected at all times regardless of whatever circumstances.
However, Pastor Gbayan vowed to continue his usual worship after consultation with his people.
At the same time, Director of the LNP, Colonel Patrick Sudue , has again vowed not to leave no stone unturned while executing the mandate to protect the lives of the Liberian populace against the deadly Coronavirus.