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Pastors in Maun have decried lack of recognition by both government and the society, noting that they are only remembered during difficult times.
The concerns were raised by the Chairman of the Maun Ministers Fraternal Prophet TP Elias during their engagement meeting with the minister of Health and Wellness Dr Edwin Dikoloti in Maun on Wednesday.
Elias stated that pastors and churches feel abandoned and used as they are usually called when needed or only in times of trouble. The prophet further said they are keen on working hand in hand with medical practitioners such as allowing for screening of church members especially the elderly in churches. He said this would help detect illnesses early in order for them to be treated and healed.
He pleaded for pastors to formally rotate in hospital chapels where they can hold services and prayers with patients and their families. “Each and every hospital has a chapel, why can’t each have a pastor or two that holds services and give guidance from given times and also go in wards to give hope even to the terminally ill?” he asked.
Meanwhile Elias has complained that the amended Societies Act of 2022 that regulate the registration, monitoring and supervision of societies disturb churches with issues of registration. “Sometimes pastors become enervated as they cannot work well without knowing what their stand is as a church due to issues of registrations,” he explained.
In his response, Minister Dikoloti said government highly regards pastors and wants to work with them in so many aspects including health. He added that they need the pastors to stretch health information by always reminding their congregations to practice good health and maintain healthy lifestyles as they preach during services.
Dikoloti assured that they will look into their concerns with a view to resolving and addressing them, ultimately forge a formidable partnership with churches and pastors.
That as it may, the minister informed the pastors that churches can now be opened or operated at the plots in the lands (masimo). He explained that this can only be done provided the area or location of the church is clean and all the environmental health issues are addressed.