Following the spike of the number of people infected with coronavirus from 2 to 12 in the last few days, the Lagos state government has banned religious gatherings of more than 50 people for the next four weeks.
The decision to worship remotely was taken as a measure to checkmate the spread of the virus in the state.
Lagos is the ground zero for Covid-19 in Nigeria
Since the virus first spread into Nigeria a few weeks ago, Lagos has been the flashpoint of the battle against the spread of the virus. Of the 12 registered cases, 10 of them were confirmed in Lagos.
Also, 10 of the infected persons all came through Lagos airport. This makes Lagos a major hot zone for the virus’ spread in the country.
Curbing the Spread of the virus
The federal government has taken measures to curb the spread of the virus by placing a travel ban on countries that are hot zones like Italy, China and the UK. They also cancelled national events like National sports festival and the National Youth Service Camp that requires the gathering of a large number of people.
However, the Lagos state government is also making its own efforts of checkmating the virus. Apart from suspending religious activities, the government has also made plans to shut down schools.
Although, the ban on the religious gatherings of over 50 people is already in effect, it doesn’t mean that worship away from churches or mosques is impossible. If you are pondering about how to keep worshipping during this ban, here are some technologies that could help.
The use of social media to propagate worship isn’t new in Nigeria. Many popular churches, synagogues and mosques have social media accounts where they air their worship sessions.
With over 29 million social media users in the country which includes many Christians and Muslims, the use of social media for worship has come to stay.
Youtube is a social network that provides a platform for worshipers to connect in large gatherings during this ban. About 53% of social media users in Nigeria use Youtube. This means that the platform can connect more than 15 million worshippers in the country.
Similar to Youtube, Instagram is a popular platform among Nigerians especially the younger generation. The platform’s live stories make it possible for religious bodies to air service live to people anywhere in the country.
About 57% of Nigerian social media users use Instagram. This means that the platform provides access to more than 16 million users in the country.
Facebook is the second most used social media app in Nigeria. Since the social network launched globally in 2006, it has grown constantly in the country to become one of the most used social media across all age groups.
Facebook, through its Facebook stories, can allow a religious organisation to post live videos of their services in real-time. A significant 78% of social media users in Nigeria use Facebook.
There are currently about 6.7 million pay-TV users in Nigeria and the numbers are expected to rise to about 6.9 million in 2021. Many religious organisations with nationwide coverage have satellite tv channels where they can air special services. Examples are Love TV, Dove TV, Rhema TV, and Emmanuel TV.
With the current ban on large religious gatherings, these organisations can leverage on their TV channels to broadcast their service to the millions of pay-TV users in the country.
For a large number of religious organisations, their worship is not complete without giving offerings, tithes or alms. Tithe.ly is a website that helps religious organisations collect tithes, offerings or alms.
In the last 30 days, about 668 churches have joined the platform. The Tithe.ly platform can allow worshippers to give easily while the current ban on public gatherings last.
Currently, the platform is trusted by over 13,276 churches and ministries
It’s not new for a religious organisation to give out bank account numbers during service for worshippers to send their offerings and tithe into. The ban on large religious gatherings now means that religious organisations can leverage on bank transfers to collect tithes and offerings.
It’s no longer news that the Covid-19 virus spreading across the world is now in Nigeria. As the government takes measures to contain the spread, activities as important as worship shouldn’t be totally suspended. The different technologies listed above provide options for the faithful to worship remotely.
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