30th March 2023
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Mosques reopen across South Sudan

Author: Obaj Okuj | Published: Friday, August 28, 2020

Muslim gathering in Juba - File Photo

The Secretary-General of Islamic Council has announced the resumption of Friday prayers in mosques across the country after months of suspension due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

In March, the council suspended the Friday prayers and all Islamic activities and congregational prayers in mosques, as a safety measure to prevent the spread of Coronavirus.

According to the Islamic council, the reopening of the mosques and prayers comes following consultations with the National Taskforce on Coronavirus.

Abdallah Braj says it is expected that Friday prayers will begin today in the Kuwait Mosque in Juba, for the first time since the decision to close mosques in mid-March.

“Kuwaiti Mosques will be the role model with these measures and then other mosques will gradually return to Friday prayers,” he said, adding that “the prayers should be very short; imams should not prolong the sermons, people should pray short prayers.”

He, however, warned the worshipers of overcrowding during prayers.

Braj insists that worshiper must adhere to health safety measures as mosques reopen.

The measures include; maintaining social distancing, sanitizing worship places, wearing face mask during prayers and thermometer be available at entrances of the mosques.

“We have to maintain social distancing, there must be sanitation in places of worship, the windows of mosques must be opened during prayer to provide ventilation, a face mask must be used during prayers, a thermometer must be available at entrances,” Braj read out the guidelines during a press conference in Juba, Thursday.

The Islamic Council stressed that “these measures will be subject to evaluation.”

So far South Sudan has recorded 2,519 cases of Coronavirus, while the death toll has reached 49 people.

Two weeks ago, President Salva Kiir promised religious leaders that he would soon allow believers to congregate in places of worship.

But the Doctors’ Union advised against reopening of places of worship without instituting safety measures during the coronavirus pandemic.

It recommended that a minimal number of people be allowed into a church or mosque.

The Ministry of Health in South Sudan is yet to give directives on what churches and mosques should do to safely reopen.

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