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KZN church leaders want govt fund to support them during lockdown

The KZN Christian Council said many religious leaders are struggling to pay their bills because of the ban on all gatherings.

FILE: The KZN Christian Council's Wilfrid Napier said they also want to propose the gradual re-opening of churches with safety measures at the top of their priorities. Picture: Pixabay

DURBAN – Religious leaders in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) are calling on government to establish a fund to support them during the lockdown.

The KZN Christian Council said many religious leaders are struggling to pay their bills because of the ban on all gatherings.

The council’s chairperson, Cardinal Wilfrid Napier said they also want government to explain why school pupils will be trusted to practice social distancing in June – but there’s no indication of when they can be trusted to lead sermons.

Napier said they are calling for talks with government so a support programme for religious leaders can be established.

“We are saying let’s go into dialogue and come to an agreement as to when we can start helping those people. If government can help in that, or else help us by phasing in the reopening of churches so that income can be generated from the income of congregants in their church services.”

He said there is growing discontent with the lockdown within the religious sector.

“There are pressure groups organising petitions, and we are worried if that gets out of control people will just want to return to church without taking any precautionary measures.”

Napier said they also want to propose the gradual re-opening of churches with safety measures at the top of their priorities.

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