National Council of Churches encourages fasting and prayers
The Secretary of the National Council of Churches, Reverend Ma'auga Motu, believes that fasting and praying for a cure is one way the body of Christ can respond to the threat posed by the coronavirus pandemic.
“What I always tell my congregation is to pray with all your heart,” he said during an interview with the Samoa Observer.
“Praying and having faith can help you overcome anything. That is the answer to all the problems in our era. That is our prayer to the Lord, for the disease not to reach our shores.”
Rev. Motu added that fasting is equally important.
"Fasting should be done in our villages and churches. It is a must to do so. You need to fast with all your heart," he said.
The sentiments from the Secretary of the N.C.C. come as churches throughout the country brace for what the Government will impose as a nationwide response to the threat of the virus. Samoa already has its first suspected case.
According to Rev. Motu, if the Government bans church gatherings, the N.C.C. would encourage its membership to adhere by worshiping God in the privacy of their homes.
“The National Council of Churches supports this,” he said.
“If the disease reaches Samoa and the Government puts a stop to gatherings then I believe that all church leaders should support this.
“We might go to church and get the disease from someone who has it. It is a sad fact if people in our family get affected from this disease.”
Rev. Motu said it is important for people to work with the Government.
“In my opinion, we should follow what the Government needs us to do. We can worship God peacefully within our homes,” he said.
“It is not just to obey what the Government has asked us to do but it is also for the protection of the people of our country from the disease.”
Asked if there is any plan by the National Council of Churches for a collective response to the coronavirus, he said: “For now that is up to the leaders of each church. There is no plan for a collective response of the National Council of Churches for the Coronavirus. It is all up to each of the leaders."
Last week, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints cancelled all activities and meetings due to the growing concern of the Coronavirus.
Archbishop Alapati Lui Mataeliga had recently announced that the Catholic Church in Samoa had started a nine-day prayer and fast in response to the disease.
Both responses were praised by Reverend Motu.
“The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints has received instructions from their leaders and now they are following those instructions.
“The Catholic Church is now also doing a prayer in response to the disease and these are the greatest protections, relying on God for protection and guidance.”
Lastly, Reverend Motu encouraged not to panic but to obey instructions, be prayerful and trust God.