The Catholic Diocese of Enugu, on Sunday, banned women from attending church services with hand-bags.
The ban followed recent incursion of the Boko Haram insurgents into the South-East, especially the foiled bomb attack at the Winners’ Church in Owerri, Imo State.
The development, according to the church, is aimed at nipping in the bud any possible attack on places of worship in the Diocese.
According to the Bishop of the Diocese, Rt. Rev. (Dr) Calistus Onaga, who directed all parish priests within the Diocese to make the official announcement during Sunday services, he appealed to the faithful to cooperate with the church in that regard.
He said the exercise was not meant to embarrass the women or any body, but was born out of the present disturbing insecurity challenges facing the nation.
The cleric however, assured that it will be done with human face, and in a civilised manner, adding that the church, do not want to take chances.
A worshipper who do not want his name in print said, “I must tell you, the Bishop and entire Catholic faithful in Enugu, are apprehensive with the rumour of the insurgents infiltrating the east, especially the alleged recent escape of two buses conveying Boko Haram members in Abia state, during a security check.
“I support the development that henceforth, women will no longer be allowed to enter Catholic churches during masses with hand bags, apart from their purses, which will also be subjected to thorough scrutiny by church workers.
“Before today’s announcement was made, our Bishop had already briefed all the parish priests under the Diocese, so that they can take the message down to their various parishes.
“Though, we known that if God did not guard a city, guard men will be guarding in vein; but there is also need for us as human beings to play our own part, while God plays his own part”.
Meanwhile, Bishop Onaga, has urged members of the Catholic community in the Diocese and elsewhere, to always be security conscious, stressing that the present insecurity challenges confronting Nigeria, had remained a serious source of concern to the church.
The hand bag prohibition, according to the Bishop, will affect every woman, both young and old.
“There will be no sacred cow in its implementation”, a church source said.