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POLITICAL UNREST: CHURCHES SHUN CROSSOVERS IN FEAR OF ATTACKS, ROBBERIES

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MBABANE – Fear or faith?

This is a dilemma which many churches around the country are faced with, to have faith and decide whether to have crossover services or submit to fear. Crossover services usually take place on Christmas and New Year’s eve. Some churches have services collectively while some hold them at their individual churches. Church leaders blamed this on the political unrest, which they said had compromised security in the country. They said due to the political unrest, even criminals were now taking advantage and committing crimes by robbing churches.

However, this year, some of the pastors who asked not to be mentioned admitted to being concerned about the security of their members. They said even if they had no problem with their services, they were concerned that they would endager the lives of their members. “Imagine the members travelling to church during the evening only to be robbed,” said a pastor. He also said members could also be attacked while at the church.

Some of the pastors, however, decided that despite the situation, the night services would take place. Apostle Justice Dlamini of The Worship Centre, said their services would continue. When he was reached for comment on reports that some preachers were afraid of conducting crossover services, he said The Worship Centre would have services as usual.

He said the church was a very secure place and that the services would go ahead. Another pastor who said services would go ahead was Apostle WonderboyMagongo of Back to God Church. Magongo of Buhleni said while he was aware of the security concerns, the church members agreed that the services should go ahead. Magongo noted that the church had discussed security concerns and they concluded that the services would go ahead despite the security concerns.

Meanwhile, Bishop Samson Hlatjwako, the president of the League of African Churches said they would not be having Christmas Eve crossover.’’ We do not normally have a crossover on Christmas Eve, “ said the bishop. However, he said they would have a crossover service on New Year’s Eve.
Hlatjwako said on New Year’s Eve, all members of the church under the league would converge. He said they would then pray for the country’s restoration.

He said as worshippers, they would pray for the situation in the country to return to normalcy. Further, the bishop also gave tips on what not to do on Christmas day. He said this was not a time to start fights but for families to get together. Hlatjwako said some people were of the view that even the day after Christmas was for fighting. “It’s called Boxing Day but not for fights,” he said. The bishop further said this was a day to share gifts and give to those less fortunate.

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