The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has supended gatherings worldwide “until further notice” in response to the spread of the new coronavirus.
With more than 16 million members world-wide the LDS Church is the largest religious group in the world to cancel worship services since the outbreak began.
The announcement means canceling all Sunday services and midweek activities for more than 30,000 congregations across the globe, including over 150 congregations and 80,000 members in Samoa.
In a news release on the church’s website, church leaders said they “are deeply concerned about the global spreading of illness caused by COVID-19″.
“We have counseled with worldwide governmental, ecclesiastical, and medical leaders and have prayerfully considered the current circumstances. We want to be good global citizens and do what we can to control this contagious illness,” the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles said in a statement online.