Tanzanian President John Pombe Magufuli has shocked the world after announcing that the country will not shut down places of worship over the Coronavirus pandemic because that is where true healing is found.
On Sunday, Magufuli told a congregation in Tanzania that the COVID-19 virus is Satanic and cannot survive in the body of Christ.[irp]
‘Tusiogope kwenda kumtukuza Mungu. Sisi kama serikali hatukufunga ibada, misikitini wala makanisani kwa sababu tunajua huku kanisani na misikitini ndipo kwenye uponyaji wa kweli. Corona ambaye ni shetani hawezi akakaa kwenye mwili wa Yesu. Atakaua ameungua huko mbali (We didn’t shut down churches and mosques because that is where there is real healing. Corona cannot survive in the body of Christ, it will burn),” he said to deafening cheers from the congregation.
Magufuli has been on the receiving end of social media criticism for allegedly misleading his people to assemble in churches, which puts them at a higher risk of contracting and spreading the virus.[irp]
In South Korea, a patient code named ‘Patient 31’ is allegedly responsible for more than 60% of the country’s reported cases of COVID-19 after attending a church service with thousands of people. South Korea has more than 8,700 confirmed cases of Coronavirus and at least 90 deaths.
Across the world, nations have however suspended all public gatherings including church services as one of the ways to minimize the chances of the virus spreading.[irp]