As Italy deals with a total lockdown, gospel opportunities are flourishing, says Italian Evangelical Alliance. Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte ordered people to stay home and seek permission for essential travel, saying the measures were designed to protect the most vulnerable. Italy’s coronavirus death toll jumped from 366 to 463 last week and it is the worst-hit country after China. Vice chairman of the Italian Evangelical Alliance, Leonardo De Chirico lives in Rome, which is a ‘red zone’ and in total lockdown. He said the streets are quiet: “Very few people are around in the city at the moment, people are restricted from going out and from taking an unnecessary walks, trips or journeys.”
Chirico explained “it has been difficult to process for many people around us, but people are beginning to appreciate the seriousness of the situation and the need to change habits and quickly too.” The Diocese of Rome has cancelled the celebration of all Catholic Masses for nearly a month and announced a day of fasting and prayer in response to the Coronavirus. 60 million people have been told to stay at home until the 3rd April, except for work and emergencies, but De Chirico wants Christians to have more faith than fear. He said “We’ve never experienced a time of openness towards spiritual conversations as we have in the past few days.
De Chirico said “People are struggling to handle fear, anxiety and despair, but that brings opportunities for the Gospel to be shared, and lived out. Although we cannot visit homes, we can phone, and use technology, to try and stay close to people as much as we can. “The government’s decision is giving opportunities for the Christian community to get close to people as well as indicating the need for us to be hopeful, not in our own strength, but in God and God alone.” De Chirico said: “We need to take advantage of this sad time, to transform it into a time of grace by looking at things from another perspective, the need for our lives to be dependent on God and His word and His good news in Jesus Christ.”
Source: Premier Christian NewsPrint This Post