Presented by Dr. Angel Marcial E., Field Director of Latin America
The challenge of the Church of God Latin America (IDDLA), in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, has not slowed down, it continues to increase in every way: contagion within both pastoral families and parishioners, the lack of economic support within a large percentage of pastoral families, and income for the administration of the church’s personal property continue in a serious sense; unemployment has not diminished and deaths within the ministerial family have not ceased.
Here are some specific statistics in Latin America:
Active cases: 1,188,793
Cases recovered: 7,504,122
Total Cases: 9,027,728
All 19 countries have government requirements for social distancing and preventive health measures. But the standards differ from country to country, with some countries having lower levels of infection than others. The countries with the highest number of active cases currently are Brazil, Colombia, Peru, Mexico and Argentina among others.
Under careful analysis and consensus, the Church of God in 15 countries is opening its doors little by little. The capacity allowed by the government department of health for meetings inside temples differs between countries starting from 20%, 30% to maximum 50% of capacity, as well as the days of opening. The remaining 4 countries remain completely closed, but services in virtual mode.
Weeks ago, COG-LA issued a first Posthumous Tribute based on beloved ministers who died during the pandemic. To date, more ministers from Brazil have joined, and last week the first case of a Venezuelan minister was reported.
The leadership of COG-LA (Executive Leadership, Administrative Bishops, ministerial leaders, etc.), is in continuous approach to the pastors and the parishioners in these moments of great need and feeling of accompaniment in every sense.
Despite all the above, of living through growing mourning, incessant contagion, new outbreaks of pandemic, etc., the faith of the Church lies in looking to the Invisible, to the one who knows everything and has the world in His Hands.