A church building has collapsed in Taraba State, killing two persons and injuring many worshippers. The church, Holy Ghost Church, is located in Chanchanji community, Takum Local Government Area of the state.
Chairman of Takum council, Shiban Tikari confirmed the incident to Channels Television via a phone conversation on Saturday.
The victims – Demenege James and Mwueze Terzunwe – were said to be worshipping in the church in Peva village before the building caved in.
He disclosed that the injured are receiving treatment at a primary health care centre within the community.
One person has been killed and five others injured during a church demolition exercise by the Borno Geographic Information Service in Moduganari area of the capital city.
An eyewitness said the officials showed up on Thursday morning at about 10 am in a heavy-duty vehicle with instructions to demolish a local church EYN Moduganari. The move was resisted by members of the church.
Some members – mostly residents of the community – also tried to film with their phones which were promptly seized by the CJTF personnel before opening fire.
The police intervened to control the CJTF members and debrief the team.
The body of the casualty has been taken to the state specialist hospital while those injured are currently being treated.
Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in Borno State Mohammed Naga is at the hospital with the injured. He, however, declined commenting on the incident saying he will brief the press when he has details of the matter.
A makeshift bomb exploded inside a Catholic church in the city of Beni in DR Congo’s conflict-plagued east on Sunday, injuring two just an hour before a children’s Confirmation ceremony was due to be held.
The head of police in Beni’s town hall Narcisse Muteba Kashale told AFP that the explosion occurred at 6:00 am (0400 GMT) and that experts from the UN’s mission to DR Congo had said: “it is a home-made bomb, a bomb that was set up for an ambush”.
Beni’s vicar general Laurent Sondirya said two people were injured in the blast, which went off before crowds would have gathered to attend the Confirmation ceremony.
“They were targeting a large crowd because the ceremony would bring together children, their parents and the faithful,” he told AFP, adding that “mass would not be postponed”.
Traces of blood could be seen at the entrance to the church in the aftermath of the explosion, an AFP reporter said, while shards of glass were scattered inside and the sound equipment was destroyed.
It marks the first time a building belonging to the Catholic Church, the city’s largest religion, has been directly targeted in Beni territory, where the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) militia is accused of killing 6,000 people since 2013, according to the Catholic episcopate.
Two imams in Beni known for speaking out against the ADF violence were shot dead in May, one inside the city’s mosque and the other after evening prayers.
The ADF is the deadliest of an estimated 120 armed militia groups that roam the mineral-rich east of the vast central African country, many of them a legacy of two regional wars from 1996 to 2003.
It is historically a Ugandan Islamist group that has holed up in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo since 1995.
The ADF is accused of killing hundreds of civilians since launching operations from a base in the jungle around Beni in November 2019.
In March, the United States said the ADF was linked to the Islamic State group.
He said investigations were ongoing to unravel the circumstances leading to the incident, reiterating the police commitment to arresting the culprits.
“Investigation is ongoing to unravel the circumstances surrounding the incident and effort is being intensified in order to arrest perpetrators of the dastardly act and bring them to justice,” he said.
An Ondo State High Court sitting in Akure has sentenced a Pastor, John Abiodun to two years imprisonment over a false allegation against the founder of an Akure-based church.
Earlier in 2019, the pastor had been dragged before the court for lying against the founder of the Promiseland Prophetic Ministry, Akure, Pastor Gbenga Akinbiyi.
Abiodun alleged that seven placentas were buried on the church’s altar.
Akinbiyi thereafter dragged Abiodun, a former member of the church, to the court.
Abiodun, alongside a lecturer of the Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba Akoko, Prof Lanre Olu-Adeyemi were arraigned before the court on eight counts bordering on conspiracy, publications of false information, perjury, impersonation, threatening violence amongst others.
The second defendant, Olu-Adeyemi, was said to be the administrator of the WhatsApp group, through which the false publication and accusation was circulated.
Delivering the judgment on Thursday, the trial judge, Justice Bode Adegbehingbe found Abiodun who is the first defendant guilty of count 5 of the charge for contradicting himself while giving evidence on the allegation against him.
The judge listed allegations against the Abiodun to include using different church WhatsApp platforms and other social media to malign, carry out false publication and wrongly accuse the founder of the church.
The court, however, found Abiodun guilty of committing perjury which is punishable under Section 118 of the criminal code, laws of Ondo State.
The judge also held that, in law, anybody found guilty of perjury was liable to life or 14 years imprisonment but due to the plea by the defence counsel, Mr Olanrewaju Adesanmi, who pleaded leniency, the jail term was reduced to two years.
The second defendant, Olu-Adeyemi was, however, discharged and acquitted due to lack of evidence against him.
The prosecuting counsel, Mr Kayode Dare expressed satisfaction with the judgement.
The Ogun State Police Command has arrested a former guard, Mela Samaila, for allegedly stealing the offering box of the Grace Nations Church, aka Liberation City.
In a statement issued on Friday, the Police Public Relations Officer, Abimbola Oyeyemi, said the suspect who worked for the church as a security official, broke into the auditorium.
According to the police spokesman, Samaila, reportedly stole the offering box containing an undisclosed amount of money in the church located at Ojodu Abiodun in the Ifo Local Government Area of Ogun State.
The suspect was said to be arrested following a distress call received by the police at the Ojodu Abiodun Divisional Headquarters from security men on duty at the church.
To Oyeyemi, the suspect broke into the church around 4am on Thursday, noting that the guards told the police that a thief scaled the fence of the church, broke into the main auditorium and made away with the church’s offering box.
“Upon the distress call, the DPO Ojodu Abiodun division, CSP Eyitayo Akinluwade, quickly mobilised his patrol team to the scene, combed the area and succeeded in arresting the suspect with the help of the security men of the church and the offering box was recovered from him,” he said.
“Preliminary investigation revealed that the suspect was once a security man in the church, but was relieved of his duty due to some untoward behaviour.”
Meanwhile, the state Commissioner of Police, Edward Ajogun, has directed that the suspect be charged to court.
The Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike, has charged the church across the country to speak up against societal ills and injustice so leaders can take a cue to correct anomalies associated with the government’s policies and programmes.
Governor Wike made the statement when the new Primate of All Nigeria, Anglican Communion, Most Rev. Henry Ndukuba, paid him a courtesy visit at the Government House in Port Harcourt.
“This is the time for the church not to be docile,” he said. “This is the time for the church to speak out.
“When society is bad, it affects the church; when governance is bad, it affects the church. No matter how you look at it, nobody can run away. Things are not working out well in the country. ”
Most Rev. Ndukuba, who was accompanied by other bishops of the church, commended the Governor’s leadership, courage, and firmness.
The Christian Association of Nigeria in Kaduna State has declared a non-denominational prayer and fasting rally to seek for God’s intervention on the incessant attacks by gunmen in some communities in the southern part of the state.
Speaking during the prayer session held at ECWA Church in the Kaduna State capital on Sunday, the state CAN Chairman, Reverend Joseph Hayab and the state Chairman of Peoples Democratic Party, Hassan Hyet, both faulted the government and security agencies for not doing enough to stop the killing of Christians in Southern Kaduna.
The CAN Chairman specifically asked the presidency to stop being the mouthpiece of the bandits going by its recent statement on the southern Kaduna killings, even as he described the attacks on mostly Christians communities as an ethnic cleansing.
But the Commander of Operation Safe Haven which is involved in the ongoing security operations in southern Kaduna and Platuea State, Major General Chukwuemeka Okonkwo, says the attacks are pure reprisals and counter reprisals carried out by the Fulani communities and Southern Kaduna natives, and therefore, has no ethnic agenda.
He, however, added that enough is being done by security agencies to bring lasting peace to Southern Kaduna, while he also called on both parties to sheath their swords.
A handful of priests celebrated Easter on Sunday at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, built on the site where Christians believe Jesus was crucified and resurrected.
In the heart of Jerusalem’s Old City, the church — which had not been closed over Easter for at least a century — has been shuttered to worshippers along with all cultural sites in the Holy Land to curb the spread of the COVID-19 respiratory disease.
“Easter is a time for life,” said Archbishop Pierbattista Pizzaballa, apostolic administrator of the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, who arrived at the church under the watchful eye of Israeli security forces.
“Despite the signs of death everywhere, life will prevail as long as someone is giving life out of love for others,” he added, before entering the church.
A few faithful had gathered at the church’s inner courtyard, including one man in an immaculate white gown who had prayed in front of the closed door.
The Sepulchre is considered the holiest site in Christianity, and it typically attracts thousands of worshippers over the Easter weekend.
Pope Francis cancelled a scheduled appearance at mass in Rome on Thursday because of “a mild ailment”, the Vatican said, the day after he appeared to be suffering a cold.
“Due to a mild ailment, he preferred to stay in the vicinity of Saint Martha’s,” the guest house at the Vatican where the 83-year old pontiff lives, chief press officer Matteo Bruni said in a statement.
The mass in question was at the Basilica of St. John Lateran, one of Rome’s biggest and largest churches.
Bruni said the Argentine’s schedule remained otherwise unchanged.
The announcement came as Italy struggles to control the largest outbreak of the coronavirus in Europe with some 400 cases.
The Vatican made no reference to the disease in its announcement.
Francis has not curtailed any of his activities, which often include mingling with crowds and shaking hands.
The pontiff, who only has one lung and suffers problems with one hip, very rarely cancels an appointment in his busy schedule.
Vatican News said the pope had earlier Thursday celebrated the daily mass at Saint Martha’s House, before meeting members of a global Catholic climate movement as planned.