P.M. NEWS Nigeria » Religion http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com First with Nigeria News - Nigerian leading evening Newspaper - Sun, 05 Jul 2015 11:34:30 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.2 RCCG, Winners’ Chapel, Others Kick Against Anti-Theocracy Code http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/07/03/rccg-winners-chapel-others-kick-against-anti-theocracy-code/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/07/03/rccg-winners-chapel-others-kick-against-anti-theocracy-code/#comments Fri, 03 Jul 2015 12:39:22 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=244879 Henry Ojelu

Pastors, religious activists and workers of some Pentecostal churches have petitioned the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria over its plan to promote the” Not-For-Profit Code 2015” against religious organizations in the country.

The code seeks to nullify theocracy in the church which is ascendancy of rulership and headship of the church by spiritual means. It seeks to impose democracy as preferred means of attaining church leadership in the area of appointment, tenure and succession.

Some of the aggrieved churches are Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG); Living Faith International also known as Winners’ Chapel and Foursquare Gospel Church.

Pastor EA Adeboye

Pastor EA Adeboye of RCCG

They alleged that the code is being promoted with active connivance of the Federal Ministry of Trade and Investment.

Addressing a news conference in Lagos, their counsel led by Bamidele Ogundele said: “governance in the church is a spiritual affair and that any attempt to separate spiritual affair leadership from administrative leadership would bring dichotomy, create crisis within the churches of God and create multidimensional contradictions.”

Ogundele argued that the Sections 1.1, 8-40 of the code which impose General Assembly and tampered with the structures in the church “is anti-Christ, satanic agenda, illegal and a breach and an infringement of the fundamental rights of their clients to freedom of thought, conscience and religion under Section 38(1) of the 1999 Constitution as amended and Article 8 of the African Charter of Human and Peoples Right (Enforcement And Ratification Act), Law of the Federation 2004.

Bishop David Oyedepo

Bishop David Oyedepo

He said that the council has over-stepped its powers and functions under Sections 7 and 8 of the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria as well as duplicating the functions of the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) under Companies and Allied Matters Decree, Law of the Federation 2004 which is saddled with the responsibility of registration and monitoring of churches and charitable organisations.

He said their clients are committed to the defence of rule of law and constitutionalism in Nigeria and have, therefore, decided to challenge the new development in court in order to prevent crisis in the church and to enforce their fundamental human rights at the Federal High Court, Lagos.

The applicants in the suit number FHC/L/C5/974/15 are Bamidele Ogundele, Busola Ogunyode for themselves and the Registered Trustees of the Centre for Rule of Law; Pastor Ayodele Oladeji, Babatunde Adefila, Isaac Opayinka and Bunmi Olawunmi.

It was brought pursuant to Order II of the Fundamental Right Enforcement Procedure Rules 2009 and articles 8 of the African Charter of Human and Peoples Right.

Respondents in the suit are the Attorney General of the Federation, Ministry of Trade and Investment and the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria.

The applicants among others sought six reliefs from the court including  a declaration of the court that the purported Not-for-Profit Sections Codes 2015 mooted and being promoted by the second and third respondents is illegal and unconstitutional because it amounts to duplication of the functions of the CAC saddled with the responsibility of registration and monitoring of compliance of charitable organisations/groups;

That the term of reference being mooted and promoted by the second and third respondents i.e. terms of reference in section 1.1 of the 2015 Code as well as 8-40, specifically, sections 8,9,10 and 37 of the code are illegally and unconstitutional being inconsistent with section 7 and 8 of the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria Act Cap f42, Law of Federation, 2011 setting up the third respondent.

That the purported Not-for-Profit section Code 2015 mooted and being promoted by the second and this respondents is illegal and unconstitutional because it is not an act or law promulgated by the National Assembly.

They also prayed the court for an order of injunction restraining the respondents, their agents and privies from adopting and giving effect of law to Not-for-Profit sector Codes, 2015 based on their infringement on the right of the applicants to religion under section 38(1) of the 1999 Constitution and Article 8 of the African Charter of Human and Peoples Right (Enforcement And Ratification Act), Law of the federation 2004 and its inconsistence with section 7 and 8 of the enabling law establishing the body i.e. Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria Act Cap f42, Law of Federation, 2011.

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A New Approach To Holy Pilgrimage http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/06/26/a-new-approach-to-holy-pilgrimage/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/06/26/a-new-approach-to-holy-pilgrimage/#comments Fri, 26 Jun 2015 12:28:47 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=244077 Temidayo Oluwatosin/Abeokuta

Pilgrimage to Jerusalem has always been for religious purpose, but in a bid to maximise the benefits of the exercise, the National Christians Pilgrims Commission recently entered into a partnership with the Isreali government, to establish an exchange programme that will focus on robust agricultural production and farm practices.

The activities of the Ogun State Pilgrims Welfare Board in capitalising on this partnership is worthy of commendation. The board has included a week empowerment training for youth in the July 2015 pilgrimage programme.

The empowerment programme for the youth will include intense training in Agriculture, Agro -Allied management and other relevant skills. At the end of the training they will be issued a training certificate by the Hebrews University which will conduct the training.

Aside the primary  benefits of  moral and spiritual benefits which the pilgrimage offers, this exercise will make the  youths self-reliant, economically independent and empower them to contribute their own quota to the diversification and improvement of the economic base of Ogun State and Nigeria as a whole.

It is expected that well-meaning individuals and organisations should support the Board by sponsoring more youths to this pilgrimage as a means of contributing their quota to the development of the state.

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CCC Leadership Tussle: Olatoso Becomes ‘Unification Leader’ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/06/22/ccc-leadership-tussle-olatoso-becomes-unification-leader/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/06/22/ccc-leadership-tussle-olatoso-becomes-unification-leader/#comments Mon, 22 Jun 2015 18:37:48 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=243645 Kazeem Ugbodaga

CCC

The leadership crisis rocking the Celestial Church of Christ (CCC) worldwide appears to have ended as Rev. Olatoso Oshoffa has emerged as the “unification leader” of the church.

At a news Conference on Monday in Lagos, southwest Nigeria, Oshoffa, alongside other notable leaders of the church said his emergence was ordained by God, adding that, his emergence had been foretold even before the demise of his father, Samuel Oshoffa.

According to him, his emergence is sequel to the vacation of the seat by court judgment of his elder brother, Emmanuel Mobiyina Oshoffa.

Olatoso said the main mission given to him after being anointed by God was to unite the Celestial family, adding that, past struggles in the church were the handiwork of satan.

He said the church in the last 12 years under the leadership of his elder brother, Emmanuel Oshoffa failed to progress.

An Ilaro High Court on March 26, 2015, terminated the tenure of his elder brother (Emmanuel Oshoffa), under whom Olatoso served as personal assistant.

Shedding light on the circumstances that led to his emergence as the “unification leader” of the church, Olatoso said: “On one of my journeys to France, specifically on the 30th of May, 2015, my father appeared to me and said ‘my son, Olatoso, the church has diverted from my calling and I want you to stand up, take up my abandoned work and lead my children’.

“I have met several spiritual leaders in the church, telling them the revelation I received from my father and from God almighty. A lot of them did pray about it and confirmed that the revelation is truly from my father and indeed from God.

“Hence, my acceptance of the leadership position to and unite our church, ensure stability and peace in our church and to build our Celestial Church of Christ worldwide as started by my father and founder,” he said.

Oshoffa noted that his appointment and declaration as the “unification leader” of CCC was done in Imeko, Ogun State on 10 June, 2015 after series of consultations, noting that, the development showed that his siblings were united on his candidacy and ready to support him in the daunting task ahead.

He recalled that the age-long crisis in the CCC which began since the founder died in 1985, had been foreseen by his late father, and just “a trying time for the CCC”.

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Ramadan Begins http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/06/17/ramadan-begins-2/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/06/17/ramadan-begins-2/#comments Wed, 17 Jun 2015 13:07:47 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=243065 Saudi Arabia and several other Arab countries have announced that the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan would start on Thursday.

Saudi Arabia, the birthplace of Islam, announced on Wednesday that it would be the final day of the lunar month of Sha’aban.

Similar official announcements were made by religious authorities in Egypt, Jordan, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Qatar, Yemen and Palestine.

Report says the beginning and end of Ramadan depends on the sighting of the new moon.

“During Ramadan, devout Muslims abstain from eating, drinking and smoking from dawn to sunset.

“Ramadan this year coincides with the summer heat in the Middle East where the fast could reach 15 hours a day.

“Fasting is one of Islam’s five pillars, alongside declaration of faith, prayer five times a day, alms-giving, and the pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia,’’ it said.

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Sudan is ‘fountain of ancient Islamic scholarship’, says Emir of Kano http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/06/10/sudan-is-fountain-of-ancient-islamic-scholarship-says-emir-of-kano/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/06/10/sudan-is-fountain-of-ancient-islamic-scholarship-says-emir-of-kano/#comments Wed, 10 Jun 2015 04:54:25 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=242118 Emir of Kano, Alhaji Muhammadu Sanusi II

Emir of Kano, Alhaji Muhammadu Sanusi II

The Emir of Kano, Alhaji Muhammadu Sanusi ll, on Tuesday, described Sudan as one of the most respected citadels of scholarship in the world.

He made the remark while delivering a Keynote address at the opening of the First Nigeria-Sudan International Conference in Kano.

The conference was organised by Bayero University Kano, in conjunction with two prominent universities in Sudan.

The Emir said Sudan had immensely contributed its own share of Islamic scholarship, which was presently serving as catalyst in the promotion of the knowledge required to foster cordial relations between the two countries.

He added that “Sudan has carved a niche in the parlance of Islamic Diplomacy with Nigeria even before the advent of the modern diplomacy.

“It has also been widely recognised and respected all over the world, having served as renowned hub of political and economic diplomacy.”

According to him, the Northern part of Nigeria is sharing many things in common as far as the issue of socio-cultural ties is concerned.

He said Sudan had made its mark in forging appreciable academic collaboration with the outside world, especially in Northern Nigeria.

He, however, explained that the remarkable feats achieved had been scuttled as a result of European expansionist programme.

“The political and economic development of many African countries would have been greatly enhanced if the colonial masters had not invaded the continent,” he said.

The monarch called for effective collaboration between the two countries by bringing forward the concept of effective communication in line with modern global trend.

Earlier, the Vice Chancellor, Bayero University Kano, Prof. Abubakar Rasheed, said the university was ready to collaborate with reputable international centres of scholarship.

He said “we consider the issue of partnership as paramount, especially now that many universities in the world are competing to attain the highest peak of academic excellence.”

He added that being the first of its kind, the conference would serve as springboard for stock taking in the area of effective communication and diplomacy.

The papers slated for presentation by eminent scholars during the conference will serve as archive of reference by students of contemporary history, he noted.

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‘There’s Nothing Wrong In Pastors Living Big’ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/06/03/theres-nothing-wrong-in-pastors-living-big/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/06/03/theres-nothing-wrong-in-pastors-living-big/#comments Wed, 03 Jun 2015 11:58:29 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=241306 Apostle Charles Jacob, founder, Believer’s Family Assembly, Lagos in a recent chat with journalists, bares his mind on the issues surrounding christendom and why pastors preach prosperity

What is the correlation between holiness and prosperity in the ministry?

Holiness is the beginning of prosperity and without holiness you cannot prosper. But some Christians are misunderstanding it. Holiness is in the spirit while prosperity is in the heart, thus poverty is in the heart.  Poverty is not holiness. When you are poor it is because you think you are. The two issues are different things altogether. But poverty and prosperity work together. Whether you are poor or prosperous, holiness is a different matter because holiness is in the spirit not in the heart. What poverty does is to dominate the mind; the same thing prosperity does. If you see a man that the spirit of prosperity has dominated his mind, you will see it by his speech. Also if you see a man that poverty has dominated his mind you will know by his speech. If you see a man that is holy and not pretending, you will know. If you are not holy and if you die, you go to hell. As a man if you wear earrings or pleat your hair and wear gold, if you are holy and you die, you will make heaven. Gold rings or bangles are not sin.  During King David’s time, the Bible said that the handles and the pillars bought to build the house of God were all gold and any time God wants to ask for sacrifices He will tell Moses to tell the children of Israel to bring their gold, silver, and bronze for sacrifice so that He will use it to make ark. Even the ark of God was made of gold. Some people read Bible and they don’t have revelation inside the Bible. They just read it and don’t understand the interpretation or meaning. We are made to understand that Bible has no interpretation but the Holy man of God interprets Bible as the spirit moves and explains it to them.

•Apostle Charles Jacob

•Apostle Charles Jacob

How would you react to the issue of some people coming to church poor and  become prosperous thereafter?

Why we see the poor in the church is because churches are there to change and transform lives. So, if the poor don’t come to church lives cannot be transformed. Miracle and testimonies cannot happen. Anybody that runs into the church and receives breakthrough but later forsakes the church and God to go back into the world, when he falls he would come back to look for that same God. The truth is that things you are looking for in the world, God has them aplenty. Man cannot rise without God no matter where you go.

What are the parameters to attract God’s blessings?

Number one is fear of God; the Bible says that the beginning of wisdom is fear of God. Another one is holiness; He said the generation of the righteous shall inherit the earth.  Thirdly, your heart; devoting your heart to God and the fourth is your time; devoting your time to God.  You must built relationship with God. You must know God before holiness. You have to devote your time for God. The fifth is faith. If these five things are in order, then you must become great in life. You have God first, you know Him, you have relationship with the Holy Spirit. That is the key.

But we still find some people in the church that are so religious, devoted and abide by the doctrines of the church and yet remain poor. How do you explain that?

The Bible says that my people perish for lack of knowledge. It is not about serving God, it’s about you having the understanding and the capacity that God can change your life.  Remember that Jesus said: “Holy Spirit is coming, a Saviour, a Comforter, when He comes He will empower you, He will increase your strength and He will begin to show you the things that I cannot show you now”. You may be coming to church and not connected. Your eyes may never be open to the things of God. You never know the ability of God, which is talking about what God can do.

Why is it that we have more of prosperity preaching now than salvation and holiness?          

Let me tell you, people that came before us have sold this holiness and salvation to people. So, now people want to prosper because this is the end time and God said “on the last day I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh.” In Joel 2 verse 28, he said the young men and the daughters will see vision and they will prophesy and things will be happening. He said that the old men will be dreaming dreams. So this is time of prophecy, this is time of vision, this is time of dream that is why now whoever that doesn’t have dream cannot excel, whoever that doesn’t have vision cannot excel, whoever that cannot prophesy cannot excel.

Could that be the reason why people flock to churches where they claim to see visions and prophesy?     

On those vision carriers, I’m not for that but what I know is Bible. Like Pastor Chris Oyakhilome or Bishop David Oyedepo, you can be preaching the word and prophecy will come or revelation will come and you give it. It is not all about using prophecy as a business, meaning if you don’t bring money we can’t prophesy.  There are prophets that prophesy in the name of the Lord. There are visioners that prophesy in the name of the Lord. the Bible says “one spirit but different gifts”. Any prophet that God gave vision or anointed can never take money from you before he prophesies. He can only prophesy to your life to change and not prophesy to take from you because every man of God that God called is to build and not to take. You are after building people, you are after making people, that’s why God called you. God is maker of men and He cannot come down to do that, that’s why He anoints some pastors and empowers them to do what they do.

What is your view concerning the affluent lifestyle of some clergymen while most of their members are poor?

It is good for men of God to ride good cars, fly private jets and live in good houses. Examples abound in the Bible. There is nothing wrong in a servant of God having those things, but it is bad if they use them with pride and pomposity. It is wrong if they are not sensitive to the plight of people around them. Concerning men of God using cars, using jets, building mansions while people in their community are suffering, I said it in one of my interviews that people that live with you can despise you because they knew you from your humble beginning and may not know that God brought you to change their lives. As soon as God’s mandate to prosper you manifests and you decide to be of blessing to them, some will even despise you while some will say its ritual money. Some Christians that call themselves born again would even join them and call you a ritualist because it is the anointing that is working for you. Even if you call them to pray for them they will not come because of familiarity. Why some pastors may not help people on their streets is because people on their streets or community despise them because they know them and when you start to make it shame will not allow them to come and bow down and say sir we need help. As for me, if God blesses me I will ensure that everyone around me partakes in the blessing no matter the little that gets to them.  So, to have those good things is not bad but it is the manner they use them that matters. There is nothing wrong for a man of God to build estates. The Bible says that Solomon had estates, he built his house for 13 years alongside the house of God. I don’t understand why people are angry when a child of God is prospering. It is like envying people of God. Some will go to Babalawo who will tell them to bring N300,000 and they will not disobey. Some will use their children’s school fees, while some will not pay their house rent but in the night, they will put cow and ram inside their cars and sneak out to give the Babalawo the cow and ram, but any time the man of God collects tithe of prosperity, they become angry.

Why do some men of God acquire dubious powers to become rich?   

The Bible says that many are called but few are chosen; that judgment is for God and not man. It is His prerogative to determine who He sent or who He didn’t send because you can never tell who God sent. Some men of God are sent and God anointed them but they are carried away by the things of life. Saul was called by God but he was carried away, even when it was in the hand of David to kill him, David said “I will not lay my hands upon God’s anointed”. So you cannot tell who God called or who God didn’t call. In the last day God will judge.

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Practice what you preach, Adeboye tells clerics http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/05/10/practice-what-you-preach-adeboye-tells-clerics/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/05/10/practice-what-you-preach-adeboye-tells-clerics/#comments Sun, 10 May 2015 08:23:12 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=238916 Pastor EA Adeboye

Pastor EA Adeboye

The General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church (RCCG), Pastor Enoch Adeboye, has advised ministers of God to practice the sermons they preach at home because their children are watching.

Adeboye gave the advise on Saturday in Jos at RCCG’s Ministers and Workers conference, which had the theme: “In Christ Alone”.

“They are our first congregation. If you fail to at home, you have failed.

“We must tidy up our acts as ministers of God. Be careful what you do in the presence of the children,” he admonished.

Adeboye said that the church would organise a meeting with children of ministers in the north, just as it had done in the south and some other parts of the World such as Europe & the US.

He urged the ministers to make sure their children were in attendance.

“It will help us to help them to help you,” Adeboye said.

Adeboye said that because of his life as a role model to his four children, all of them were in one way or the other a minister.

He said during meetings with them, his children would also share certain things they copied from him.

On the theme of the conference, quoting from Psalm 39 verse 9, Adeboye said to be successful ministers of God the lives of successful people in the Bible like Prophets Elijah, Elisha and Jesus Christ must be studied.

Adeboye said he studied the life of Elijah in three years and was currently understudying the lives of Elisha and Jesus Christ.

On the life of Jesus, he said that Christ lived a life of humility, obedience ‎and submission to God.

He, therefore, urged ministers of God to emulate Jesus in order to be connected to His blessings.

NAN reports that as part of the Pastor’s yearly interaction with members in the north, Adeboye will dine with them on May 10 in Abuja, an outing tagged: “Day Out with Daddy G.O.”

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Ado-Ekiti woman delivers twins after waiting for 14 years http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/04/20/ado-ekiti-woman-delivers-twins-after-waiting-for-14-years/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/04/20/ado-ekiti-woman-delivers-twins-after-waiting-for-14-years/#comments Mon, 20 Apr 2015 12:01:16 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=236841 Mrs. Roseline Akinsola> Photo credit: Facebook Page

Mrs. Roseline Akinsola> Photo credit: Facebook Page

Mrs Roseline Akinsola, 50, on Monday delivered a set of twins after 14 years of childlessness.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Akinsola, who works at the Ekiti State Christian Pilgrims Board, was full of praises to God for answering her prayers.

The mother of two girls, who weighed 4.2kg and 2.3kg, advised other couples in need of children not to lose hope.

Akinsola, who on her Facebook page, says she hails from Ilawe-Ekiti, in an interview with NAN, expressed gratitude to God for giving her the children after several years.

” I thank God for the new name he has given to me; before, I was being called “Iya Iyanu’’ without a child, but today, my name has changed to “Mummy Twins.’’

“Many of my colleagues, friends and neighbours mocked and sidelined me, but because I stood firm on the words of God, He answered my prayers.

Illustration: a set of twins

Illustration: a set of twins

“I thank my husband, who inspite of the troubles and problems from family members, friends, colleagues and neighbours still believe in me and God.

“He stood by me like a father in all ways and also believed in God all through the crisis. I also thank my siblings who stood by me in prayers for years.

“Let me thank God for all those who stood by me in prayers and encouraged me not to desist from serving God.

“These children are indeed signs that God never forgets his own people who diligently seek him and believe in his words, ” she said.

The father of the twins,Babatunde,49, also expressed gratitude to God for the children.

“We fast, pray and cry unto God for the fruits of the womb for years, but I am happy that today, God has finally fulfilled his promise to my family.

“I thank members of our church under the callings of Pastor and Mrs David Ajileye for their prayers and care for my family,’’ the happy father, who is also a civil servant, said.

Ajileye, who is the General Overseer of the Way of Life Bible Church, Ado-Ekiti, thanked God for his blessings in the lives of the couple.

“We have known the couple for over 15 years and they have been steadfast and faithful in serving God inspite of the challenges they were facing.

“For years, I and my wife have been praying to God to give the couple the fruit of the womb; I am so happy that the lord has answered their prayers.

“The church witnessed a similar miracle in 2013 when a couple, members of our church delivered a set of twins, a boy and a girl after 31 years of childlessness,’’ he said.

He advised the couple to teach and train the children in the ways of the lord.

NAN reports that the mother and the twins were in good health as at press time. (NAN)
DJ/KOLE/OJO

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Pastor Bosun, Buhari’s ‘Jihad’ And Christianity In Nigeria http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/04/18/pastor-bosun-buharis-jihad-and-christianity-in-nigeria/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/04/18/pastor-bosun-buharis-jihad-and-christianity-in-nigeria/#comments Sat, 18 Apr 2015 14:28:07 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=236658 By Rev. Christopher Akinola (OlaKris)

Few months ago in Nigeria, around the time the constitutional conference was going on in Abuja, an audio message by a certain Pastor Bosun Emmanuel, who represented the Christian Association of Nigeria at the conference, began to make the rounds within and outside Nigeria. The audio message, amongst a number of things, described General Muhammadu Buhari, who was running for President, as an Islamic fundamentalist who, if elected, would Shariarize Nigeria. It also shared that, like in Turkey (ancient Ephesus), Christianity in Nigeria is on its way to obliteration through Jihad. Bosun claimed that Christians and Christianity are in trouble because Muslims are strategizing to Islamise Nigeria and that Christians should be vigilant. Bosun’s voice reverberated as the message received massive listening and distribution. The leadership of the RCCG, a mother Church to the assembly that hosted Bosun had since dissociated itself from the message. Most Christians who received the message frantically peddled it, with some giving it more mileage.

Rev. Christopher Akinola

Rev. Christopher Akinola

But alas, it was a mere propaganda that ought to have been discountenanced, partly. Most people, including Church leaders who are ignorant of Church history, will tell you that this propaganda was correct. Those who know better will cry foul and correctly call it the ranting of an alarmist that it really was. History says it all. Bosun, in any case, was correct to share that the Nigerian Church, rather than focus on raising disciples, is busy raising “millionaires”. He added that the Nigerian Church needs repentance because it has gone the wrong way. Nothing can be truer. He also said that the Church in Nigeria is at war and needs to foster unity. Correct! He continued as he presented videos of some gory details of massacred Christians in the north eastern Nigeria by boko haram. This little write up is to educate and inform our people, correcting the incorrect parts of Pastor Bosun’s message and emphasising some truthful things he shared.

Indeed, a careful perusal of history reveals subtle and obvious relevance of the Nigerian Church in today’s world. The Gospel of Christ and the message of Scriptures have been considerably spread globally by Nigerians. This is hardly contestable because out of every four black Africans, one is Nigerian. Nigerians are everywhere human beings live, even in Siberia and they usually migrate with their religious beliefs handy. Most Christians become emergency missionaries, therefore. These unending emigrationsare largely due to many years of gross misgovernance and mismanagements of national resources. If properly appropriated and managed, Nigeria can comfortably fend for a large portion of Africa. But then, the opposite is the case. A large number of her citizens struggle to live on less than a couple of dollars a day. Things have been pretty bad! The process and eventual results of the just concluded presidential elections would attest to the fact that it will never again be business as usual in our Nigeria. Change is here!

Although, my people have become the scumof many societies of the world,yet millions of my people remain very proud and, if you may, arrogant Nigerian green-passport carrier for many reasons. Firstly, we are very communal. We are a warm people who welcome strangers and visitors into our space, gladly sharing our means, even our meagre means. We are never xenophobic! Even when Ghanains were sadly excused from Nigeria way back in 1983, there were no losses of lives or properties, to the best of my knowledge. Many foreign nationalshave since made Nigeria their base, expatriating proceeds of their sweats (or through connivance with our leaders) to their respective countries.Secondly, my people have contributed immensely to the GDP of societies where they live around the world.Ask around, there is always a Nigerian lecturing in some University,Technicon, High school, or doing legitimate businesses all over the world.And ofcourse, like in all societies, a lot of bad examples of our people avail.

Now, not a few Nigerians were wrongly sensitised and alarmed by Pastor Bosun’s “revelations”.You see,like hordes of severally mis-preached sermons, majority of Christians in my country usually overlook the seven most important letters authored personally by Jesus Christ. A crash course at the feet of Brother Wole Owolabi, handed me a re-evaluation of Bosun’s message. For many reasons, these seven letters, comprising Chapters 2 and 3 of the Book of Revelation, are probably the most important part of this book for Christians. Although, there were many other Churches at that time that would seem to be more significant than the seven that Jesus addressed: the Churches at Jerusalem, Rome, Galatia, Corinth, and Antioch for example. Why did Jesus select just these seven: Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamos, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea?

Investigations by Graham Brodie explain at least four levels of application to these letters: Firstly, it had a local application. These were actual, historic Churches, with valid needs corroborated by archaeological discoveries. Secondly, it was admonitory as each of the letters appears with the key phrase, “Hear what the Spirit says to the Churches”. Note the plural, Churches. Each of the letters applies to all Churches throughout history. If we understand the sevenfold internal structure, the uniquely tailored messages, and the specific admonitions in each of the letters, we discover that any Church can be “mapped” in terms of these seven composite profiles. Thirdly,homiletic: Each of the letters also contains the phrase, “He that hath an ear let him hear…” Doesn’t each of us “have an ear”? Each letter applies to each of us. There are some elements of each of these seven “Churches” in each of us. Thus, this may be the most practical application of the entire Book of Revelation. Fourthly, it was prophetic. This, by far, is the most amazing application. These letters describe, with remarkable precision, the unfolding of all subsequent Church history. If these letters were in any other order, this would not be true!It is on this historical backdrop of these letters as expounded by Wole Owolabi and Graham Brodie that we must analyse the message Pastor Bosun brought to the Nigerian Christians, warning them against a Buhari presidency as conduit for Islamic agenda.

The first letter was to the Ephesus Church. This Ephesian Church (present day Turkey) is representative of the great Evangelistic Church of the first century. The word Ephesus means “The Desired One”, which aptly describes the Church as Jesus sees it. Like the early days of the Nigerian Church, the Church in Ephesus was full of spiritual vitality and strength. However by the end of the 1st century, as it could be said of the Nigerian Church of today, the people had left their first love (for Christ and each other). Self-aggrandisements and personal kingdom building had taken the driver’s seat. Jesus warns them to repent or He would remove their “candle stick” from its place. This was a threat as well as a promise from the Lord. The warning still stands today. In my opinion, this kind of caution against greed in the Church from a Pastor Bosun to the Nigerian Church would have made more impact, rather than raising unfounded alarm of an impeding “jihad” from a Buhari Presidency.

The second letter was to the SmyrnaChurch. This represents the persecuted Church of the second and third centuries. According to Brodie, Satan tried everything to wipe the Church out by sheer force. During this period of history, the Church was persecuted under ten different Emperors with the final ten years being the worst. Jesus says that this Church, although poor in worldly terms was rich in faith. It is of note that the word Smyrna comes from the word “Myrrh; Death” which was used as a fragrant perfume of “offering” in Old Testament times. This seems to aptly describe the Church during this time in history, as its members were being “offered” as living sacrifices. However, during this time the Gospel spread faster than at any other time in history. This is exactly the history of the Nigerian Church. In the days of yore, the Nigerian Church was not attractive, neither was it rich, but it was pure. Well, at least purer than whatever parody we see around today! Contrary to what obtains today, Nigerian Church history clearly reveals how impoverished the Church was in stuffs-material but rich in stuffs-spiritual. In those days, the vocation of the Clergy was neither attractive nor rewarding. Things have since changed since the prosperity gospel commenced in this country. Affluence of the Church and clergy has escalated while character and purity has nosedived. Bro Bosun addressed this anomaly in the Church, but missed it when he went on a clarion call to crucify a Buhari presidency.

Even so, the letter to the Pergamos Church attracts even greater interest. After this time of persecution, Satan changed his tactics. Instead of trying to wipe out the Church, he made “Christianity” acceptable through the conversion of the Emperor Constantine around 312 AD. In gratitude for the reprieve from persecution the Church adopted many pagan rituals and feast days as its own. The Church also became centralized in Rome acting as an extension of imperial authority.How does this apply to the Nigerian Church today? The “pilgrimages” that some notable fathers of faith in Nigeria made to Aso Rock at the instance of the Jonathan administration is unprecedented. The “favours” derived thenceforth has increased the “prosperity” of the respective religious leaders.The Christian Association (CAN) and Pentecostal Fellowship (PFN) leadership became apolitical while the pulpit and pew suffered. Those without such “breakthroughs” are named as not “arrived”.Interestingly, the word Pergamos means “Mixed Marriage”, which is exactly what happened to the Church during this time. The Church got elevated out of persecution and got entangled to the political power of the State. In light of this we must remember Jesus’ words that “His kingdom was not of this world” (John 18:36). The Church, which is His Body was not meant to have political power while this world remained. So the original vision of the Church was polluted from this time forward by the work and actions of men. However, as in all cases, there have been several exceptions. Some Pastors in Nigeria just won’t stoop that low as to count it a privilege to be a guest of the President. They seek greater honours;honours that money, University licences, aircrafts or oil rigs can’t purchase! Again, Brother Bosun has refused to address this perfidy by the Church leaders in Nigeria, rather he calls Buhari a jihadist. Indeed! A jihadist who has had more Christians as domestic staff than Muslims!

Next was the missive to the Thyatira Church. This Church was commended by Jesus Christ for its works of faith, love and patience, but the Church had allowed itself to be corrupted by false teachings and immoral acts. Jesus refers to this as the woman “Jezebel” (See 1 Kings 16:29-33) and He is ready to act against these falsehoods. The woman is to be cast into affliction, those who are allied with her are to suffer great tribulation and her children are to be put to death. The word Thyatira means “Semiramis” or “Continual Sacrifice”. This describes the state of the Roman Church which places great emphasis on “personal sacrifice” in order to “please God”. This whole concept is quite foreign to the truth that Jesus has done all that is required for us to be free from sin. Today, almost all preachers in Nigeria teach congregants to “sow” seeds of faith in order to receive largesse from God. This error has grossly escalated at present. Giving gifts to God is admirable, but giving to God so as to retrieve favour is arrant fraud. We must sow seeds out of love and not out of greed. Unfortunately, the Nigerian Church seems to have raised more of greedy people than lovers of God. However, in this Thyatira church are those who have not accepted these false teachings. Of them Jesus Christ requires nothing, except they cling to the truth until He comes. If we look through the history of Christianity, we see many faithful Saints who clung fearlessly to the truth of Jesus Christ. Many of these lost their lives at the hands of the “Church”.The “Church” killed Christ, anyway! I would have expected a Bosun to raise alarm against this error rather than raising a battle cry against a Buhari presidency.

The next letter was to the Church in Sardis. This is the Church which was resting on its original works to gain favour with the Lord, but had fallen asleep. Jesus warns them to wake up and strengthen what remains (before it also dies). The word Sardis means “Remnant” or “Escaping Ones” and seems to refer to the Church of the reformation. But rather than continuing in the faith, the Church had stopped and fallen asleep. The reformed Churches broke away from the Church of Rome, yet in many ways they modelled themselves on the Roman example, particularly in their structure and their association with the governments of this world. They had made a start, but had not finished the work. It is no longer news that many breakaway Nigerian ministers, aside very few, have continued to perpetrate the very things they rebelled against. If you ask me, this would have made a better focus for Pastor Bosun rather than raising angst against a Buhari presidency.

The church in Philadelphia also featured on Christ’s mailing list. This is the Church that Jesus loves. It was obedient to the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20), and Jesus had set an open door before them. Their motivation was their love for the Lord and their fellow man. This was the great missionary Church of 1750 to 1870. Philadelphia means “Brotherly Love”, which describes well the Church which so loved its Lord and its fellow man as to send missionaries to nearly every nation on earth within the space of 100 years. Frontline ministries in Nigeria today such as the Church of God Mission, CAC, Foursquare, CAPRO, Rhema, CCC, Deeper Life, C&S, Roman Catholic, Living Faith, RCCG, MFM and some others have sent hundreds of Missionaries across Nigeria, Africa and the globe. This is highly commendable. Jesus promised to keep them from the time of trial that was to come on all the earth. He also said He was coming quickly. The teaching that Jesus was coming back was revived during this time of Missionary sending. Not much of this has been heard of recent. Brother Bosun ought to have done better than instigating Christians against a Buhari presidency.

The Laodicea Church were the recipient of the last mail. This is the last Church age. It is the half-hearted Church, not recognizing how poor it really is. Jesus has nothing good to say about it. In fact He is very displeased with it. This is a very worldly, proud Church, increased in wealth and influence, but spiritually bankrupt. Again it has not separated itself from the World system. Because Jesus loves them so much He rebukes them so they will wake up to themselves. Toward the end of last century there was a great outpouring of understanding of scriptural prophecy. Earlier this century there was a great outpouring of the Holy Spirit in many parts of the world. There is also a great “expectation” about the return of Christ. One further event which has occurred during this time is the restoration of the nation of Israel.The word Laodicea means “People Rule” and it is a time of trial for the Church. The Church has been tried by the forces at work in the world and found wanting. To those who overcome Jesus will grant the right to sit on His throne and rule the nations. We are living in the Laodicean age right now. Jesus is calling us to repent of our worldly ways and return to Him. Echoing this call ought to have been the focus of Pastor Bosun’s message, but he went ahead to decry a Buhari presidency.

Back to Bosun’s reference to the Church in Turkey(ancient Ephesus). According to Wole Owolabi, the truth of the historical matter which Bosun, either evaded or is ignorant of was that God took the candlelights out of the Turkish Church by using the Ottoman Turks in order to achieve what the Lord prophesied. It has nothing to do with Islamic Jihad at all. The Church got what it deserved. It was God’s arrangement through prophecy.

Now, answer this simple question. Between Buhari and Jonathan, who has done more evil to the Nigerian Church? Certainly, Jonathan did more evil. See, the evil President Jonathan did to the Nigerian Church, a Buhari can’t even achieve anything close through Islamic Jihad. All an Islamic jihad can do is probably purify us through lots of persecutions. That’s all. We would become better. But what the other guy, Jonathan, did was worse. He went from Church to Church, politicising the Church of Christ, giving Church leaders money, bastardizing their already comatose consciences. All of them taking some money here and there and further dividing Church against one another. “You got money but I didn’t” kind of scenario. The clergy conspicuously and shamelessly campaigning, canvasingand harassing congregants to vote for Jonathan. Really? I thought ministers are to teach people to be led of the Spirit.? Hence we said it would be very unethical for Jonathan to return as President, and if he does, it would be because we didn’t pray. The Nigerian Church fathers prophesied a Jonathan victory but the ordinary people ( Muslims, Christians, traditional worshippers and atheists) prayed to God to deliver them from Jonathan and the Church leaders. We knelt down and he didn’t win. They prophesied and he lost. Jonathan was the evil that further wrecked the Church’s already dented reputation; he and all those prophets who collected money. Some of our Church leaders just played into that political ditch. The political correctness that our dear Pastor Bosun clamoured for was exactly what the Church in Turkey did. Distributing and competing amongst Bishoprics, finding relevance with and dining with the State. You see, when you politicise the Church, you take away its candlelight. So, Pastor Bosun and his camp were the ones setting the downfall of the Church. They forget that Christianity is relational. If mutual relationship is removed from Christianity, we are no longer Christians. We become club members! Whatever divides us therefore cannot be right. Ironically, Boko Haram is doing a better job in uniting the Church than Jonathan. In Boko Haram, we find a common enemy. In Jonathan, we see a divided Church.

Rather than become enemies of those who do not share our faith, Christ taught Christians to love them. There are better methods of preaching the Gospel than raising false alarms against a Buhari presidency! I am an ardent Christian, but in my view, an honest Muslim who hates graft and corruption would make a better Commander-in-Chief than a Christian who believes stealing is different from corruption. What do you think?

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School yoga does not violate religious freedom – US http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/04/04/school-yoga-does-not-violate-religious-freedom-us/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/04/04/school-yoga-does-not-violate-religious-freedom-us/#comments Sat, 04 Apr 2015 01:03:00 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=235167 School children perform Yoga en masse in India

School children perform Yoga en masse in India

A California court said Friday that yoga classes taught at an elementary school do not violate students’ right to religious freedom, after parents complained Hindu and Buddhist doctrines were being promoted.

The parents of two students at an Encinitas district school near San Diego said the yoga classes, which were taught as part of the school’s physical education curriculum, infringed on their children’s constitutional rights.

The First Amendment bans school-sponsored religious promotion and prayer.

But after a years-long court battle, the Fourth District Court of Appeal in San Diego ruled the courses are not faith-based.

“We conclude that the program is secular in purpose, does not have the primary effect of advancing or inhibiting religion and does not excessively entangle the school district in religion,” justice Cynthia Aaron wrote.

“The district’s yoga program does not violate our state constitution,” the justice wrote.

The decision upholds an earlier ruling of a lower court, which the parents had sought to appeal.

Yoga, an exercise that promotes stretching and breathing, often incorporates spiritual elements from eastern faiths.

It has become popular in the West, and many practices in North America do not incorporate the religious aspects of the practice.

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Fashola Declares Methodist Synod Open http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/03/18/fashola-declares-methodist-synod-open/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/03/18/fashola-declares-methodist-synod-open/#comments Wed, 18 Mar 2015 13:50:55 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=233547 All is now set for the 9th Annual Synod of the Methodist Church Nigeria, Diocese of Lagos West. The 4-day event coming up at Methodist Church Nigeria, Idimu, Mushin, Lagos will kick off on Thursday, 19 March with the Ministerial and Lay Sessions.

Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola is expected to declare the synod open on Friday, 20 March, while the Synod programme will be rounded off with a thanksgiving service on Sunday, 22 March at the same venue during the 10.00am service.

The theme for this year’s Synod, “ Aglow with the Spirit” has been prayerfully selected to reassure the citizenry on a great turn around spritually that God will do concerning Nigeria.

Governor Babatunde Fashola

Governor Babatunde Fashola

According to the Chief Host of the Synod, the Diocesan Bishop, Rt. Revd. Oluyemisi Ogunlere, “the promise of God to us as a nation and the whole world in general is to bring a total stoppage to all the calamities in our land, all natural disasters and self destructions around us and ultimately turn all our challenges to opportunities if we allow the holy spirit to take control of our lives as his beloved children .

“As Methodist, we’ve challenged ourselves to take a position on how best we can move forward with the holy spirit by adding value to our immediate societies by bringing it to the front burner at this year’s Synod of the Diocese and pray for peace and togetherness among nations all over the world.”

According to the Lay President of the Diocese, Otunba Morakinyo Hanson, “this year’s Synod which is the 9th edition in the history of the Diocese is expected to attract notable personalities within and outside the Methodist family to be led by His Eminence, Dr. Samuel Uche, Prelate, Methodist Church Nigeria amongst others.” The Methodist Church Nigeria, Lagos West Diocese was adjudged the best diocese out of the 56 dioceses in the whole Methodist Church Nigeria at the 42nd and 7th Biennial Conference that took place at  Methodist Theological Institute, Mission Hill, Umahia, Abia State in 2010.

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US pastor abandons donation campaign for $65m jet http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/03/14/us-pastor-abandons-donation-campaign-for-65m-jet/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/03/14/us-pastor-abandons-donation-campaign-for-65m-jet/#comments Sat, 14 Mar 2015 13:16:42 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=233250 Creflo Dollar and his wife, Taffi

Creflo Dollar and his wife, Taffi

Popular US pastor and founder of World Changers Church International, Creflo Dollar, has brought down the website where he was begging people to donate $65million for him to buy a new luxury Gulfstream G650.

He also deleted the Gofundme page where he asked 200,000 people to donate $300 each for him to acquire the Gulfstream G650 airplane, following backlash from the social media community.

Creflo's campaign web page

Creflo’s campaign web page

One of the critics, is Kirsten West Savali, a culture writer who writes for The Roots: She wrote on 13 March:

“Dollar would rather press people living below the federal poverty line—people with no jobs, no insurance, no health care and, in some cases, no homes—into funding his luxurious travel?

“The man should be ashamed of himself, but apparently he’s not. Anyone bold enough to tell a congregation that he had visions of executing anyone who didn’t pay tithes clearly has no conscience. Yes, he told them that the only reason they’re still alive is that he’s “covered with the blood of Jesus””

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Pastor wants poor congregation buy him $65m jet http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/03/14/pastor-wants-poor-congregation-buy-him-65m-jet/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/03/14/pastor-wants-poor-congregation-buy-him-65m-jet/#comments Sat, 14 Mar 2015 08:30:57 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=233229 *What has Christianity really become? Pastors robbing the poor to live in affluence, to buy jets? This is the story of Pastor Creflo Dollar based in Atlanta, Georgia.

The Atlanta “prosperity gospel” minister and megachurch pastor Creflo Dollar is attempting to crowd fund himself a $65 million Gulfstream G650 private jet.

Kirsten West Savali at The Root reported Friday morning that Dollar — who was arrested for assaulting his then-15-year-old daughter in 2012 — was flying in his old private jet when its engine lost power, prompting him to scrap it for a newer, top-of-the-line model.

Pastor Creflo Dollar: wants congregation buy him a $65million Gulf Stream jet

Pastor Creflo Dollar: wants congregation buy him a $65million Gulf Stream jet

Dollar is the pastor of World Changers Church, International, a sprawling megachurch complex located in the hard-bitten south Atlanta suburb College Park. The pastor and his family, however, live in a $2.5 million mansion in tony Sandy Springs.

Dollar — whose estimated worth is somewhere around $27 million — is one of the top proponents of so-called “prosperity gospel,” which preaches that God rewards the righteous in this life with affluence, which His chosen children have an obligation to flaunt as a show of how richly the Lord has blessed them.

The Gulfstream  G650

The Gulfstream G650

On Dollar’s website, he said, “We are asking members, partners, and supporters of this ministry to assist in the undertaking of an initiative called Project G650. The mission of Project G650 is to acquire a Gulfstream G650 airplane so that Pastors Creflo and Taffi and World Changers Church International can continue to blanket the globe with the Gospel of grace. We are believing for 200,000 people to give contributions of 300 US dollars or more to turn this dream into a reality—and allow us to retire the aircraft that served us well for many years.”

The Root’s Savali pointed out that Dollar’s reported $27 million net worth is “200 times more than the $29,640 average annual income in College Park, Georgia where he holds court.”

“Dollar would rather press people living below the federal poverty line—people with no jobs, no insurance, no healthcare, and, in some cases, no homes—into funding his luxurious travel?” she wrote.

She concluded, “It’s just pathetic that during a time of such unrest and uprising in black America — when food safety is non-existent, public education is dismal and the bodies of our children are piling up while politicians wave for the cameras — Dollar is busy scheming. Instead of putting millions into the community, he’s pulling millions out of it just so he can fly above it all and tell his congregation to say ‘praise the Lord’ while he does. And there is nothing holy about that.”

*Reported by www.rawstory.com

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73 Hours Of Praise For Adeboye http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/03/02/73-hours-of-praise-for-adeboye/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/03/02/73-hours-of-praise-for-adeboye/#comments Mon, 02 Mar 2015 12:29:53 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=231781 The youths of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, RCCG, will Monday begin 73 hours of praise to bless the name of the Lord for sparing the leader of the church, Pastor Enoch Adejare Adeboye, who clocked 73 years on Monday.

A release by the leadership of the youth stated that the programme will be in conjunction with the music department of the church led by Pastor Kunle Ajayi.

The release further stated that the praises kick off by 2p.m. Monday and will be rounded off by 3pm on Thursday, 5 March 2015.

The release further stated that the purpose of the praise is to appreciate God for His mercy upon the church and its leader and to kick start the Special Holy Ghost Service which starts at 6:00p.m. on Thursday, 5, March 2015.

Pastor E. A. Adeboye

Pastor E. A. Adeboye

The organisers of the programme believe that this year’s event is a unique one because it coincides with the day Pastor Adeboye is 73.

This special hour of praise started in 2012 when Pastor Adeboye was 70 years. It was then 70 hours of praise. The following year, it was 71 hours of praise.

“If the Lord tarries, this is the way we will be doing it until God calls our daddy home, which I believe, it will still be a long time to come by the grace of God,” a source informed P.M.NEWS.

Meanwhile, President Goodluck Jonathan has sent a congratulatory message to Adeboye on his 73rd birthday.

According to a statement by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati, Jonathan praised Adeboye for “the productive spiritual leadership which he (Adeboye) has continued to provide for members of his church and the body of Christ in the country.”

The Prsident’s letter to the General Overseer reads: “It gives me great pleasure to felicitate with you on the occasion of your 73rd birthday.

“Our administration and the Nigerian nation owe you a debt of gratitude for your prayerful support and the productive spiritual leadership you continue to provide, not just for the millions that constitute the membership of the Redeemed Christian Church of God across the world, but also for the entire body of Christ in Nigeria.

“On a personal level, I have left every meeting with you greatly strengthened and deeply inspired by your steadfast faith and commitment to the peace, stability, growth and development of our dear nation.

“I pray that Almighty God continues to imbue you with robust health and enduring fulfilment in the many more years of worthy service ahead of you.”

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Homeless man gets prestigious Vatican burial spot http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/02/26/homeless-man-gets-prestigious-vatican-burial-spot/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/02/26/homeless-man-gets-prestigious-vatican-burial-spot/#comments Thu, 26 Feb 2015 15:23:34 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=231375 Pope Francis: showing love were there was none

Pope Francis: showing love were there was none

A homeless man has been buried in the exclusive Teutonic Cemetery within the Vatican in the latest sign of how Pope Francis’s concern for society’s most vulnerable is changing the way the Church does things.

Willy, a Belgian who lived on the streets around St Peter’s until his death in December, was well known to many priests, some of whom used to bring him food, Vatican radio reported.

He died after being hospitalised with the symptoms of exposure. His burial in a cemetery normally reserved for senior German clerics was funded by a donation from a German family.

Francis has made a focus on the rights, welfare and dignity of the poor one of the central themes of his papacy, reflected in his maxim that he wants “a poor church, for the poor”.

Earlier this month, showers for the homeless were installed in public toilets just yards from St Peter’s square, at the Argentinian pontiff’s request.

To mark his birthday in December, Francis ordered the distribution of dozens of sleeping bags to homeless people across Rome, and parishes in the Italian capital have been asked to follow suit with similar initiatives.

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2015 Hajj: Ogun begins sale of forms http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/02/19/2015-hajj-ogun-begins-sale-of-forms/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/02/19/2015-hajj-ogun-begins-sale-of-forms/#comments Thu, 19 Feb 2015 08:42:51 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=230495 Governor Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun State

Governor Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun State

The Ogun Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board on Wednesday said it has commenced the sale of forms for 2015 Hajj to prospective Muslim pilgrims from the state.

The Secretary of the Board, Alhaji Sefiu Rasheed, made this known in a statement issued in Abeokuta.

He stated that the application form was N5,000, along with two passport size photographs for endorsement.

He noted that intending pilgrims should make an initial deposit of N600,000 on or before March 13 and obtain an official receipt from the Finance and Accounts Department of the Board’s Secretariat, Block B, Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta.

He warned that unruly actions by pilgrims could attract necessary sanctions and urged intending pilgrims for 2015 to prepare themselves properly.

Rasheed said laboratory investigations shall be conducted on all prospective pilgrims by the board’s approved laboratory services at the cost of N2,700 each.

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Muslims urged to look for new moon http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/02/19/muslims-urged-to-look-for-new-moon/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/02/19/muslims-urged-to-look-for-new-moon/#comments Thu, 19 Feb 2015 00:36:25 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=230484 Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar III

Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar III

The Sultanate Council on Wednesday in Sokoto, urged the Muslim community to look for the new moon of Jumada Ula 1436 AH.

This was contained in a statement signed by Prof. Sambo Junaidu, Chairman of the Advisory Committee on Religious Affairs, Sultanate council and made available to the News Agency of Nigeria.

It said, “Thursday, Feb. 19, 2015, which is equivalent to 29th day of Rabi’u Sani 1436AH, shall be the day to look for the new moon of Jumada Ula.”

“Muslims are therefore requested to start looking for the new moon of Jumada Ula on Thursday and report to the nearest district head or forward such information to the Sultan, Sa’ad Abubakar,” it added.

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Pope voices sadness over Libya beheadings of Christians http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/02/16/pope-voices-sadness-over-libya-beheadings-of-christians/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/02/16/pope-voices-sadness-over-libya-beheadings-of-christians/#comments Mon, 16 Feb 2015 12:17:01 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=230144 Pope Francis: Head of the Catholic Church

Pope Francis: Head of the Catholic Church

Pope Francis on Monday expressed “profound sadness” over the beheading of 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians by Islamic militants in Libya, saying they had been killed for their faith.

“They were executed for nothing more than the fact that they were Christians,” Francis said in unscheduled remarks in his native Spanish following a meeting with John Chalmers, Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland.

“The blood of our Christian sisters and brothers is testimony that cries out (to us),” the pontiff added.

“Be they Catholics, Orthodox, Copts, Lutherans, it does not matter. They are Christians, their blood is the same, their blood confesses (their faith in) Christ.”

Egypt on Monday launched air strikes against Islamic State targets in Libya on Monday after the jihadists posted a video showing the decapitations.

The killings have been condemned around the world and were described as “barbaric” by Al-Azhar, the Cairo-based institution which is regarded as Sunni Islam’s leading theological authority.

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I have no Islamist agenda, Buhari tells Catholic bishops http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/02/11/i-have-no-islamist-agenda-buhari-tells-catholic-bishops/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/02/11/i-have-no-islamist-agenda-buhari-tells-catholic-bishops/#comments Wed, 11 Feb 2015 22:45:07 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=229613 General Muhammadu Buhari and his team with Catholic Bishops

General Muhammadu Buhari and his team with Catholic Bishops

The presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Muhammadu Buhari has re-affirmed his commitment towards ensuring that Nigeria remains a multi-religious state where every individual is free to practice his or her religion of choice.

Speaking at what Bishop Ignatius Kaigama, President of the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria christened an “Episcopal” Town Hall Conversation with representatives of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria, General Buhari stated that although he had been severally and consistently vilified and maligned, he had no personal religious agenda and neither would he support any moves by anybody or group of persons to either Christianise or Islamise Nigeria.

In his speech titled “One Nation bound in Freedom, Peace, Unity and Love”, Buhari, who was accompanied by his running mate Pastor Yemi Osinbajo, the Director General of the APC Presidential Campaign Council, Governor Rotimi Amaechi and a host of other members of the party’s PCC, stressed he “will not condone any initiative that seeks to promote one religion over the other.”

Earlier in his welcome speech, Bishop Kaigama, who is also the Archbishop of Jos, said that the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria believes in the unity and progress of this country and regretted the wide communication chasm that exists between the leaders and the people. He hoped that the conversation was an indication of the willingness to establish a sustainable communication platform.

In a series of boisterous exchanges, the Bishops variously expressed their concern with the falling education standards in Nigeria, wide spread corruption, violence in the polity, insurgency and the worrisome security situation in the country, amongst others.

Reacting, General Buhari traced the cause of these challenges to unemployment. In his view, “in a country where a large percentage of the younger generation is unemployed and where no immediate respite is in sight, these challenges are prone to abound. Give them self improvement opportunities; offer them a view of a greater tomorrow and all these will be in the past.”

Buhari assured that his government will pursue a well planned agricultural programme in conjunction with development of the rural areas to exploit the multiplier benefits of agriculture, empower citizens and curtail rural-urban drift. He also stated that the solid mineral exploration and exploitation would be given a boost to generate employment.

On fighting corruption, General Buhari maintained that “we already have laws and institutions empowered to fight against corrupt practices. All we need is the will to activate these structures and utilize them appropriately.”

He further stated that Nigeria’s potential for greatness will become evident again and be more appreciated not long after he steps into office.

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Iraqi Christians could become extinct – Archbishop http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/02/10/iraqi-christians-could-become-extinct-archbishop/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/02/10/iraqi-christians-could-become-extinct-archbishop/#comments Tue, 10 Feb 2015 21:29:06 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=229548 Archbishop Bashar Warda of Erbil

Archbishop Bashar Warda of Erbil

An Iraqi archbishop called for military action in his homeland in a speech to British lawmakers on Tuesday, and warned the Church of England’s general synod that Christianity in Iraq could become extinct.

“As a Catholic, I find it hard to say, but I want military action. There is no other way now,” Bashar Warda, the Archbishop of Erbil, was quoted by the BBC as telling parliamentarians on a visit to London.

Speaking to religious leaders later Tuesday, he said there was now a threat of the “extinction of Christianity as a religion and as a culture” in Iraq.

Christians in Iraq “do not have much time left,” he said, adding that the conflict with the Islamic State group had created a crisis of “chronic urgent need”.

“The future will come, one way or the other, and for us this means waiting to see what sort of aid, whether military or relief, arrives,” he said.

“Our vibrant church’s life is dissolving in front of our eyes,” he said, comparing the plight of Christians in Iraq to World War II genocide.

There is a long history of trauma for Iraq’s Christian community, which once numbered more than a million and is one of the oldest in the world.

The 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq ended Saddam Hussein’s disastrous rule, but also turned the country into a battleground, unleashing a wave of bombings and killings by militants in which Christians were often targeted.

While violence fell sharply in the years after the 2006-2007 peak of Iraq’s sectarian war, it surged again from April 2013.

Then came the IS-led offensive, which Chaldean Patriarch Louis Sako says has displaced some 150,000 Christians.

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