CAN blasts Nigerian Government. Urges it stop injustices against Christians

CAN President, Reverend (Dr) Samson Ayokunle (left) discussing with his predecessor, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, at the event.

 President, Christian Association of Nigeria, Reverend (Dr) Samson Ayokunle, has called on government at all levels to address what he described as injustice against the church in Nigeria. Speaking at a parley, which attracted eminent church leaders across the country, at Shepherdhill Baptist Church, Obanikoro, Lagos, he said instances of prejudice against Christians had, more or less, gone unchecked, and called for concerted efforts to address the situation. He highlighted the examples of a Deeper Life Bible Church member, a woman in Kano, who was killed by Islamic fundamentalists because she cautioned them for the provocative ablution they were doing in her shop; a female evangelist of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, who was brutally killed by Islamic Fundamentalists in Abuja; Jigawa State government’s demolition of church buildings because they were said not to have Certificates of Occupancy, among others.
According to him, “Several other cases like the above had happened and are still happening. This should never be taken as unnecessary alarm but a wake-up call for us to be circumspect and be more vigilant and united in resisting forces that want to suffocate us. All forces of division from whatever quarters must be resisted.
“Let me warn that being politically correct, without facing the reality on ground would be suicidal for the church. We should never allow politicians, who usually hate criticism of their governments, no matter how objective the criticism may be to divide us in our resolve to be one. We should cause the government of the day to address these injustices against the church in Nigeria.” Similarly, in a communiqué issued at the end of the meeting, and signed by the National Director, Legal and Public Affairs, CAN, Evangelist Samuel Kwamkur, made available to TribuneChurch, the church leaders deliberated on the various challenges facing the church and the need for Christians to unite to promote and defend the faith. The communiqué read: “The Conference condemned in very strong terms the attempts to Islamize Nigeria. After considerable discussions, the Christian leaders called upon the government to ensure the sanctity of the Constitution as well as ensure that governance is conducted with justice, equality, and fairness. From right, Pastor E.A. Adeboye; Bishop David Oyedepo; Bishop Mike Okonkwo, and CAN General Secretary, Reverend (Dr) Musa Asake at the event. “The Conference condemned, in particular, the nefarious activities of Herdsmen, Boko Haram terrorists, and the seeming inability of security agencies to apprehend and prosecute them. Concerning the church, the Christian leaders unanimously adopted the CAN Trust Fund and purposed to support it in all Christian assemblies, as a means of extending Christian assistance to brethren affected by the various attacks and making CAN more effective to serve the church. “The conference also called on the National Assembly to compile and make public the list of all the international agencies and associations that Nigeria belongs to, with the aim of removing Nigeria from religious international bodies. This would be in conformity with Section 10 of the 1999 Constitution.”
They decried the situation in which churches were not given access to own and develop land for the purposes of worship and called on the Federal Government and National Assembly to impress on the government of affected states to stop forthwith such abuses of the fundamental rights of Christians. They also called for policies to improve the employment rate, as well as for government to take the welfare of workers more seriously. Lauding the role of the Nigeria Inter-Religious Council at fostering religious harmony in the country, they expressed dismay that for some years NIREC had not been able to meet due to non-availability of funds from the government which statutorily funded it. Also present at the event included former CAN president, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor; General Overseer, Redeemed Christian Church of God (worldwide), Pastor E.A. Adeboye; Bishop David Oyedepo; Reverend (Dr) Israel Akanji; Prelate, Methodist Church Nigeria (MCN), Most Reverend Samuel Chukwuemeka Uche; Peter Bronseld of Stefano Foundation; Reverend (Dr) David Carling; Bishop Mike Okonkwo; CAN General Secretary, Reverend (Dr) Musa Asake, among others.


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