Stuttgart/Zurich. The Ebola virus is currently raging in a number of West African countries—and hundreds of people are affected. District Apostle Michael Ehrich from Southern Germany—whose working area includes the District Churches in the acutely affected countries of Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone, as well as the similarly affected country of Nigeria—has addressed a letter to the local New Apostolic congregations. In it he provides corresponding guidelines for fellowship in church, and calls upon members and ministers to observe preventive measures unconditionally.
These guidelines incorporate instructions concerning the distribution of Holy Communion—which, in the New Apostolic Church, takes the form of a wafer sprinkled with wine—as well as pastoral care and funerals. It is just as necessary to observe hygienic measures, such as regular washing of hands and frequent cleaning and disinfecting of dirty surfaces, as it is to thoroughly cook all wild meats. It is also important to avoid close contact with any infected person. Protective clothing must be worn when caring for anyone infected with Ebola.
Ebola is highly contagious
Ebola is a viral infection. As many as 90 per cent of those infested with the virus do not survive. The Ebola virus is highly contagious, and is transmitted through contact with the blood or bodily fluids of infected individuals. The disease may also be spread by airborne infection. Family members, medical care personnel, and other people who have close contact with infected individuals are at increased risk. Infection can also occur through consumption of infected wild meat.
The Missionswerk is providing support
The aid agency of the New Apostolic Church of Southern Germany—known as the Missionswerk—is providing support by donating hygienic and disinfectant materials. A few months ago, the Missionswerk also provided support to other relief organisations, among them the Red Cross, by conducting awareness and information campaigns, and is now doing the same again.