Original Research

Religious live-streaming in response to coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic and the subsequent lockdown in South Africa

Mookgo Solomon Kgatle
Verbum et Ecclesia | Vol 41, No 1 | a2120 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ve.v41i1.2120 | © 2020 Mookgo S. Kgatle | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 12 June 2020 | Published: 15 December 2020

About the author(s)

Mookgo Solomon Kgatle, Department of Christian Spirituality, Church History and Missiology, College of Human Sciences, University of South Africa, Pretoria, South Africa


he novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a virus that firstly struck in Wuhan, China, but its impact is felt by the whole world. The spread of the virus in South Africa caused President Cyril Ramaphosa to announce a national state of disaster in the country on 15 March 2020. Subsequently, on 23 March 2020, the President announced a total shutdown of the economy, which is also known as lockdown, effective from 26 March 2020. The restrictions of the lockdown affected different churches regardless of the denomination name. Churches were not allowed to congregate during this period for the safety of their followers and the citizens. This article reflects on the use of live-streaming via social media platforms such as zoom, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and other apps by many churches in South Africa as a response or a way of coping with the lockdown. The argument is that although these various platforms proved to be effective on the one hand, they also raised other challenges on the other hand. The article will look at the ways of mediating the challenges of live-streaming and make recommendations.

Intradisciplinary and/or interdisciplinary implications: The article is an interdisciplinary study between theology and media studies. The study seeks to demonstrate how churches used live-streaming via social media to cope with the restrictions of the lockdown in South Africa.


coronavirus disease 2019; COVID-19; lockdown; social media; religion; Churches; World Health Organization; live-streaming


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Crossref Citations

1. Missio hominum as the compassionate response to socio-economic and vaccine challenges during COVID-19 in South Africa
Jonas S. Thinane
HTS Teologiese Studies/Theological Studies  vol: 77  issue: 3  year: 2021  
doi: 10.4102/hts.v77i3.6544