Virus crisis perfect Easter backdrop: Reverend
Reverend Esekia Alopule Semisi, of the Church of Nazareth at Vaitele-Fou, says the timing of Easter falling next week amidst the coronavirus pandemic could not have been more fortunate.
Reverend Semisi, of the Church of Nazareth at Vaitele-Fou, says Easter is a time to remind people of the power of renewal and hope - something that will be a welcome counterpoint to a mood of panic.
"People can still praise the Lord from anywhere because the Lord is within us all," he said.
Reverend Semisi said Samoa's belief in God "unifies us all."
"There are many Christians in Samoa with different beliefs but our belief in God unifies us all. We are about to enter into the Easter week and this is a good time for us to open the Holy Bible and read about Jesus' resurrection as we do every year," he said.
"He said that even though the resurrection of Jesus Christ took place thousands of years ago, his "blood and power that strengthens us will help us win the battle against COVID-19."
"I know that every Christian believes this too and that is our prayer," he said.
According to Reverend Semisi, the challenges presented by the State of Emergency lockdown are also an opportunity.
"If the lockdown is extended and people will still be banned from Church gatherings, we should not use this as a reason to turn our hearts away from God," he said.
"Our faith in God should remain strong everyday.
"People should not rely heavily on pastors for worship because any Christian who has strong faith always relies on God. The pastors will take the communion to each family on Sundays if the lockdown is to be extended."
Reverend Semisi further stated that God's church is not a chapel but its people who honour and worship him.
"If the lockdown extends then we cannot change anything so that means we continue to worship God from home," he said.
"We strongly encourage all families to continue to worship God everyday. Worshiping the Lord from our homes will show the true worship as God's church is not a chapel, it is every person in the world. You can worship God no matter where you are.
"I advise families to continue their prayer and fasting no matter what happens and to follow what the Government asks us to do."