Back from vacation, the Benin government has reactivated and stepped up measures to combat Covid-19. Meetings of more than 50 people are again prohibited, as are events and demonstrations of a cultural, festive, sporting and religious nature. These measures have given free rein to many interpretations. Some have even wondered if churches and mosques will close after these restrictions. At a press conference on Thursday, September 2nd, Health Minister Benjamin Hounkpatin and government spokesman Wilfried Léandre Houngbédji made clarifications about these measures.
“Maintaining the faith for people is worth as much as going to school …”
Accordingly, the government has never ordered the closure of churches and mosques. The suspension of events and demonstrations of a religious nature does not primarily mean that churches and mosques have to put the keys under the floor mats, assures Wilfried Léandre Houngbédji. “The government is trying to do things very methodically and appropriately. It won’t be useful to get there. Maintaining the faith for the people is as valuable as going to school as enjoying quality health care, ”said the government spokesman.
Obligation to have a vaccination certificate
However, religious leaders are being made aware to ensure respect for barrier gestures. You are also invited to encourage your followers to opt for the vaccine, he continued. The Deputy Secretary General of the Government then referred to the case of religious demonstrations of 10,000, 20,000 people such as pilgrimages. According to him, the organizers of these events must ensure that the participants have a vaccination certificate. Otherwise there can be no demonstrations.