THE largest Christian denomination in Namibia, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Namibia (ELCIN), has declared a 30-day lockdown of all its parishes.
Church officials are requested to stay at home starting from today, 17 March, until 17 April.
All previously planned church conferences or feasts are also suspended.
In a letter dated 16 March, Presiding Bishop Shekutamba Nambala, said that ELCIN supports the preventive measures put in place by the Namibian government and elsewhere in the world to curb the spread of the deadly coronavirus.
It has therefore decided to suspend all gatherings, including the holding of Sunday church services.
Nambala made an exception, however, for open-air church services, but he said that they must strictly be of a very short duration.
Memorial services for the dead are also suspended, while burial services must be brief.
Nambala said that all church officials must stay at home, with the except of those who provide essential services and emergency cases.
He is requesting the Christian faithful to obey directives from health professionals and to maintain a high level of hygiene. He also called for calm and reminded Christians to trust in God.
Several other Christian denominations have announced measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus, but fell short of declaring a general lockdown.