One injured as police interrupt congregations

By Yiep Joseph

Police injured one-person, dispersed worshipers and arrested Archdeacon of Korok archdeaconry diocese of Jubafor conducting prayers yesterday.

Speaking to Juba Monitor before his arrest, Archdeacon Ven. Kenneth Gideon Dayaka stated that the police just entered into the church and started beating the congregations at St. Stephen Parish Giada without informing the Pastor in charge.

Dayaka said that the police interrupted prayers, beat up the congregation and injured one woman in the process of dispersing the worshipers.

“We did not get any information from head of Episcopal Church about closure of churches,” Dayaka said.

We were praying in the church in an organize manner following all the Covid-19 preventatives measures that were given by the Ministry of Health and the Covid-19 task force,” he said.

He said that before prayers, the church provided free masks to the congregations, placed water, soap and the hand sanitizers at the door for worshipers to wash their hands before entering.

“ Public buses, video halls, games centers and tea places are working without following any single preventative measures and the police are not directing them to follow the orders but very hard on churches that are respecting the measures. He complained”.

 Arabs were the one closing churches by then but now I wonder why our own sons beat their sisters and brothers in the name of coronavirus,” he said.

“Now the police are taking me where they want, I cannot fear because we have seen that Jesus was betrayed, beaten and the same thing can happen to us because we are followers of Jesus Christ,” Dayaka said.

He urged the congregation not to fight the soldiers but to disperse and go back to their homes,adding that he had forgiven those who disrupted the prayers and the followers had to forgive them too since they do not know what they were doing.

John Ador Malek, one of the worshipers said that one pregnant woman and a child were pushed down and got injured during the incident.

“Policemen who came and interrupted our prayers did not puton facemasks or follow social distancing in their vehicle but we were all in masks in the church,” Ador said.

He urged the citizens to always fight for their rights citing the case that police were putting their interest in the Covid-19 lockdown.

Government cannot order soldiers to beat people in the church,”he added.

However, On Thursday churches were given four days to operate and celebrate Easter while following all the Covid-19 preventative measures given by thetaskforce.

Last year a self-proclaimed prophet was arrested in Juba for being defiant of Covid-19 preventive measures.

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