Christmas: Christian Leaders Task Faithful On Good Virtues

Christians, ChristmasAs Nigerians join their counterparts across the world to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, Christian leaders have stressed the need for them to uphold the virtues of the Christianity.

At the Cathedral of Saint Michael Anglican Communion in Kaduna State, the parishioners celebrated Christmas with praise and thanksgiving.

The Bishop of Kaduna Archdiocese, Most Reverend Timothy Yahaya, expressed optimism that Nigeria would overcome her numerous challenges if only the citizens start to do things right.

He appealed to the leaders to govern with love and patriotism, just as Jesus Christ showed love to mankind.

Bishop Yahaya, however, decried the evil practices of looting of public funds, bad governance and high rate of poverty in the country.

He asked political leaders to give the people hope instead of disappointment and to use the Christmas celebration to show love and care to the masses just as Jesus did.

Way Forward

The cleric commended the anti-corruption war by the President Muhammadu Buhari administration in which some stolen public funds from corrupt public officers were recovered.

However, he noted that the war should not be one-sided, but should be holistic starting from 1960 till date.

Bishop Yahaya further suggested that the way forward for Nigeria was for leaders and the citizens to shun corruption, nepotism and hatred and begin to see themselves as one people bounded by one destiny.

God Is With Us

Meanwhile in Benue State, Nigerians have been advised to look up to God for protection and preservation for the protection of mankind.

The Parish Priest of Saint Joseph Catholic Church in Nyiman, Father Moses Aonduveer Iorapuu, gave the advice during an interview with Channels Television on the significance of the birth of Jesus Christ.

The clergyman asked Nigerians and government to wait upon the Lord who he said is with them in all situation as “exemplified in the name Emmanuel, meaning God is with us”.

In Nigeria’s capital, the Primate of Anglican Communion, Most Reverend Nicholas Okoh, asked Nigerians to shun all forms of discrimination and embrace spirit of love, sacrifice and giving.

Reverend Okoh stated that the country can only experience meaningful development when its citizens live in unity,

Clergymen in other states also asked Christians across the country to be imbibe the lessons of the season.

Catholic Bishops Ask Christians, Muslims To Respect Citizens’ Rights

christians-and-muslimsCatholic Bishops in Nigeria have called on Christians and Muslims in the nation to respect the rights of citizens to practice their faith in any part of the country without any fear of molestation.

The Bishops of Kaduna and Awka Dicocese made the plea at the centenary celebration of Catholic Arch-Diocese of Kaduna in North-west Nigeria.

While noting that religion should not be seen as a point of friction among people of different faith, the clergymen pointed out that nations all over the world could only make any meaningful progress when the citizens live in peace and harmony.

They specifically frowned at a situation where Churches and Christians were being discriminated against by the government and institutions in some parts of northern Nigeria.

The clergies also appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to ensure that the rights and privileges of every Nigerian were protected irrespective of religious or ethnic background.

Bishop Jonas Okoye of Awka Diocese said: “It is really unfortunate and it is not what God expect from us, humans. People could have various callings in life and various faith based. I have travelled practically all over the world, religion is not supposed to be a point of friction.

“It is about people’s conviction. You cannot coerce someone to worship the way you do. I want to see the Federal Government and President Muhammadu Buhari wade into this matter. He is a Muslim, I respect him a lot. I see in him a discipline of life. I want him to insist that people should respect people’s mode of worship in this country in line with the constitution”.

For the Bishop of Kaduna Arch Diocese, Mathew Ndagoso, the time has come for Christians to speak out.

“Well, I have always said that persecution has always been part of life in the church, for those who know history.

“There has never been a period where one part of the church has not been persecuted. Unfortunately, the proportion at which it is happening around the world today, not only in Nigeria but in the Middle East and the historic places where Christianity started is high.

“Back home here in Nigeria, the way Christians are treated in certain parts of this country is a matter of concern. Because our constitution is very clear that we are free to practice our religion in any part of the country. But here, especially in the north-west, there are places where even to get a land to build a place of worship you cannot get it. Sometimes people are forced to tell lies in order to get a land for something else, and then build a place of worship there. And very often, they will go and pull it down.

“I can tell you that there are places here especially in the north-west where you cannot get a Certificate of Occupancy given to the church since the colonial period,” he explained.

The Bishop of Kaduna Diocese further emphasised that was a matter that the government should address squarely, enforcing the laid down laws of the nation’s constitution.

“Our constitution provides freedom for every Nigerian to practice his or her religion anywhere, there is no reason why people in this part of the country cannot be allowed to practice their own religion,” he insisted.

He also said that sometimes the “unwritten law are such that even when you have the money to buy the land, they will demolish it. It is a matter of concern for us. We have been making this case and we cannot get tired of it. I have been saying it that a government’s responsibility is to ensure that every Nigerian feels free wherever he or she is”.