KUALA LUMPUR: Churches in Malaysia will hold Easter celebrations online as the movement control order prohibiting mass gatherings will remain in place until on Apr 14, which is after Holy Week.

Easter Sunday on Apr 12 marks the end of a week-long observance for Christians which also includes Good Friday.

Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin has announced that the government has banned all gatherings, including international meetings, sporting events, and social and religious assemblies, until Apr 30 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

READ: Malaysia sees early signs of effectiveness for COVID-19 measures – health ministry

A check on the website shows that the Catholic Bishops of Peninsular Malaysia have suspended all weekend and weekday public masses from Mar 14 to Apr 14.

Reverend David Lourdes of the Church of St Anthony in Teluk Intan, Perak, said churchgoers are encouraged to attend mass online.

“Catholics can view all the church services on the website. I think the online mass will be handled by two or three dioceses at the same time. This is what has been prepared for the Holy Week,” he said.

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Council of Churches of Malaysia general secretary Hermen Shastri said churches under their umbrella will live-stream prayers and sermons on multiple social media platforms.

“Pre-recorded worship services are available as well, also a lot of prayer and meditation (clips) are made available through social media for individuals and families to use,” he told Bernama.

He said Christians are appreciative of these measures and understand that these are extraordinary times.

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