Prime Minister’s church tells its followers that health and safety is 'an expression of love that honours the lord'.
Prime Minister’s church tells its followers that health and safety is 'an expression of love that honours the lord'.

Major churches to broadcast services online

Megachurch Hillsong has cancelled its services Australia-wide while Prime Minister Scott Morrison's home congregation told its worshippers that health and safety "is an expression of love that honours the lord" amid coronavirus fears.

The internationally renown church told its followers they would not be having traditional services for the foreseeable future - telling them to worship online.

They are in the throngs of creating a dedicated section of their website where their followers can access church resources instead of attending a physical service.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison with his wife Jenny and Hillsong senior pastor Brian Houston.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison with his wife Jenny and Hillsong senior pastor Brian Houston.

Following the federal government's announcement, which urged the cancellation of gatherings containing more than 500 people, Hillsong Senior Pastor Brian Houston addressed his followers in a statement on Friday.

"After this weekend, we will continue to gather in groups under 500 and/or online.

"As the way forward becomes more clear, we will keep you informed about what next weekend looks like.

"My prayer is that our whole church will be committed to still gathering even if that means online which is a good and viable option," he said.

"Ultimately, our trust is in the Lord and we are believing for your continued health and protection.

"Let's remain in faith, compliant with those in authority and let's believe that this pandemic will pass quickly."

Hillsong has already started live streaming services online in New York, LA and in Italy.

The church has previously broadcast its services online to millions of followers.

A Hillsong conference in Sydney.
A Hillsong conference in Sydney.

In Australia, there have been more than 200 confirmed cases of the virus with 112 confirmed cases in NSW.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison's home church, Horizon based in Sutherland, told worshippers they are "committed to providing a safe environment for all".

"We believe that looking after people through wise, practical health and safety practise is an expression of love that honours the Lord," Horizon said in a statement on Friday.

"Please join with us in continuing to pray that this outbreak is quickly resolved and that our nation's leaders would continue to be strengthened by God as they lead through this challenging time."

Scott Morrison and his wife Jenny sing during an Easter Sunday service at his Horizon Church at Sutherland in Sydney last year. Picture: AAP
Scott Morrison and his wife Jenny sing during an Easter Sunday service at his Horizon Church at Sutherland in Sydney last year. Picture: AAP

There have already been mass cancellations for religious festivals around the world.

The traditional Easter mass in Basilica, Rome, is normally attended by tens of thousands of people but has since been cancelled.

The Vatican has also taken to live streaming the Pope's daily 7am mass.

While in the UK, the Church of England has also advised against the placing of wafers directing on the tongue during communion.

They have also suspended physical contact, including the "laying of the hands", during blessings.



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