P.M. NEWS Nigeria » Religion http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com First with Nigeria News - Nigerian leading evening Newspaper - Sat, 18 Oct 2014 14:24:38 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0 Pope faces key test with vote on divorcees, gays http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/10/18/pope-faces-key-test-with-vote-on-divorcees-gays/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/10/18/pope-faces-key-test-with-vote-on-divorcees-gays/#comments Sat, 18 Oct 2014 12:52:24 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=216548 Pope Francis was set to sort his allies from his enemies Saturday with a Vatican vote on a document drafted at the end of a fierce two-week debate over opening the Catholic Church’s doors to remarried divorcees and gays.

The vote will close a special synod of bishops from around the world which has seen conservatives clash publicly with liberals over a Francis-backed drive to reform the Church by softening its approach to sinners.

Ahead of the vote, the cardinals overwhelmingly approved a message to the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics stressing the value of “unique and indissoluble conjugal love” but without touching directly on the hot topic of non-traditional unions.

Several told a news conference they were confident the final synod document would pass with the necessary two-thirds majority later Saturday after Vatican experts raised the real possibility it could fail.

The vote has turned into a referendum on the pope’s audacious line.

Francis, 77, has called for the Church to take a more merciful approach to unwed mothers, remarried divorcees and gays, famously saying of homosexuals, “Who am I to judge?”

A preliminary report on Monday made waves around the world by suggesting the Church should reach out to homosexuals, who have “gifts and qualities to offer the Christian community”, outraging traditionalists who had to be reminded by the Vatican that it was a work in progress.

A fresh report Thursday summed up the reactions of 10 working groups of bishops, which mixed declarations of respect for homosexuals with fierce insistence that any opening up to sinners would imply the Church condoned their behaviour.

The final document is expected to take into account the bishops’ amendments, but will be written by a drafting committee made up of perceived progressives appointed by Francis himself.

Pope Francis

Pope Francis

The fallout in the corridors of power, which Boston Globe Vatican expert John Allen described as “like a daytime soap opera”, has already caused at least one head to roll.

Outspoken Cardinal Raymond Burke, currently head of the Vatican’s top canon law court, confirmed to Buzzfeed that he will be removed from the job to be made patron to the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, an honorary post.

He told the US news website: “The pope is not free to change the Church’s teachings with regard to the immorality of homosexual acts or the insolubility of marriage or any other doctrine of the faith.”

The vote will reflect the attitude of the top echelons of the Church towards reform — and ultimately towards Francis’s rule, which has been coloured since his election in March last year by a determination to show the more humane side of the centuries-old institution.

“The Synod splits over gays and divorcees: there’s a risk of an anti-pope vote,” read a headline by Franca Giansoldati, Vatican expert for Italy’s Il Messaggero daily, which described the vote as “a nasty test for Pope Francis”.

“The risks are high. If the amendments are not inserted in the text the biggest surprise could come from the vote. The majority, for now, do not seem to be in favour — and the count could prove fatal,” she said.

German Cardinal Walter Kasper, an ally of the pope’s who has been pushing for reform, has said he believes the “majority” of those taking part in the synod are open to change.

Kasper suggested in February that remarried divorcees should be allowed to take communion under certain conditions.

Critical bishops have said the initial document placed “too much emphasis on the problems facing the family”.

“Many bishops have asked that the document be thoroughly re-written. There have been such a number of negative reactions that the risk is it won’t pass the vote unless its heavily revised,” Marco Tosatti, who writes for La Stampa’s Vatican Insider, told AFP.

Some resent the intense media glare on the proceedings. Cardinal Robert Sarah of Guinea told the Catholic News Agency that all the attention on gay couples was “an attempt to push the Church to change its doctrine”.

This synod will be followed by a year of consultations, and a follow-up questionnaire will be sent out to dioceses around the world. A second, larger synod will then be held in October 2015.

After that, the results will be handed to the Argentinian pope, who will have the final say in outlining the Church’s stance on family matters.

Adolfo Nicolas, superior general of the Society of Jesus, or Jesuits — to which Francis belongs — told the I.Media religious news agency to watch for a possible “revolution” a year from now.

Cardinal Reinhard Marx of Munich, an ally of the pope, said there was no turning back. “There have been two steps forward, there may be one step backwards, but certainly not two.”

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$9.3m Arms Scandal: Okotie Asks Oritsejafor To Resign http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/10/10/9-3m-arms-scandal-okotie-asks-oritsejafor-to-resign/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/10/10/9-3m-arms-scandal-okotie-asks-oritsejafor-to-resign/#comments Fri, 10 Oct 2014 12:47:35 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=215340 Reverend Chris Okotie, the founder of the Household of God Church, Lagos, western Nigeria, has asked the President of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, to resign as the leader of the Christian community in Nigeria in order to salvage what remains of the battered image of the religious association.

Okotie made the call in reaction to the controversies surrounding the use of the CAN leader’s private jet to smuggle $9.3 million into South Africa allegedly for purchase of arms and ammunition.

The Federal Government of Nigeria claimed it had a hand in the deal. The cash was seized in South Africa on 5 September from two Nigerians and an Israeli who brought it into the country in  the jet .

•Rev. Chris Okotie: Asks CAN president to resign

•Rev. Chris Okotie: Asks CAN president to resign

In his opinion entitled: ‘$9.3m Scandal: Oritsejafor Should Do The Right Thing’, published on the back page of Daily Sun on Friday, Okotie  expressed dissatisfaction with the CAN boss for compromising the integrity of his esteemed office.

The televangelist called for Oritsejafor’s resignation, saying that he has not only compromised his leadership position due to his alleged involvement in the scandal but also because of  his “indiscretion in indentifying too closely with President Goodluck Jonathan  in a way that suggests a veiled endorsement of policies and actions by the entire Christian community.”

Okotie added that Oritsejafor should step down because “his abrasive leadership style has also polarized the Christian community as evidenced by the current unprecedented division in CAN.”

He wrote: “Not that it is a sin to be the President’s pal, but when such relationship becomes provocatively patronizing, or self-serving, it is unacceptable. The pastor (Oritsejafor) does not show restraint in the way he goes about, publicly hobnobbing with the President as if he is the Chaplain of Aso Rock. This certainly has compromised the integrity of his office as CAN President and his latest incident is just the climax of embarrassing incidents we can’t tolerate any longer. Considering the collateral damage Pastor Ayo’s close relationship with the President has done to the Christian community, it is fit and proper for the pastor to resign immediately as CAN President to salvage what remains of the battered image of the association.

“This is without prejudice to the on-going investigation on the matter. Denials of his culpability by the Federal Government, CAN officials and his own recent defence,  do nothing to reduce the moral burden this whole saga places on his shoulders. As the titular leader of Christians in Nigeria, there’s now a serious crisis of confidence on his leadership and he ought to respond to it by resigning from his exalted position.”

•Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor: In  $9.3m arms scandal

•Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor: In $9.3m arms scandal

Okotie  questioned the CAN president’s involvement in public quarrels with the President’s critics, from the Muslim faith as well as in the opposition.

“In a nation of contending faiths, Pastor Ayo literally ignores our divergent religious sensibilities as he sometimes gets himself involved in public quarrels with the President’s critics, from the Muslim faith as well as in the opposition. Not all Christians are comfortable with this posture by their leader, especially at a time of intense politicking and the sectarian tensions generated by the Boko Haram insurgents and communal violence involving ethnic minorities with entrenched religious identities.

“Before now, leaders of this organization deliberately stayed out of politics in keeping with the traditional stance of neutrality of the body vis-a-viz the policy postures of incum- bent governments. In fact, former PFN leader like the late Archbishop Benson Idohosa and ex-CAN President, Olubunmi Cardinal Okogie, kept governments on their toes during their time…But here, we are dealing with Pastor Ayo as the leader of CAN; the largest umbrella of Nigerian Christians. He is condemned to be judged by secular standards, which, in this case, demands that, having found himself in a quagmire which calls to question the sanctity of his office, he must step down to redeem his image,” Okotie wrote.

Meanwhile, Oritsejafor has washed his hands off the controversies surrounding the $9.3 million scandal.

Oritsejafor recently admitted at the meeting of the National Executive Council meeting of CAN at the National Christian Centre, Abuja that though he owned the private jet which was used to convey the cash to South Africa, he had leased the aircraft to another company at the time it was involved in the cash smuggling incident.

He promised that he will not do anything to tarnish Christianity and also used the occasion to affirm that he did not receive any aircraft from the President as it is being insinuated.

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Pastor who made followers eat grass, now gives them petrol http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/10/07/pastor-who-made-followers-eat-grass-now-gives-them-petrol/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/10/07/pastor-who-made-followers-eat-grass-now-gives-them-petrol/#comments Tue, 07 Oct 2014 06:48:44 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=214968 Pastor Lesego Daniel, holding his 'pine apple juice petrol'

Pastor Lesego Daniel, holding his ‘pine apple juice petrol’

Pastor Lesego Daniel of Rabboni Christ Ministries, in the South African capital of Pretoria is making his followers connect to God in bizarre ways.

First he got them to eat grass. Then he made them to eat flowers used in decorating the church.

Now he has them drinking petrol, with the congregants likening the petrol taste to ‘apple juice or pine apple juice’.

Daniel even walks on his congregation.

Is this the right way to God?

Watch the petrol drinking session here:

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Pope launches historic review of teaching on family, marriage http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/10/05/pope-launches-historic-review-of-teaching-on-family-marriage/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/10/05/pope-launches-historic-review-of-teaching-on-family-marriage/#comments Sun, 05 Oct 2014 09:45:42 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=214728 Pope Francis

Pope Francis

Pope Francis on Sunday launched a major review of Catholic teaching on the family that could lead to change in the Church’s attitude to marriage, cohabitation and divorce.

An extraordinary synod, or meeting, of nearly 200 bishops from around the world and a sprinkling of lay people will, for the next two weeks, address the huge gulf between what the Church currently says on these issues and what tens of millions of believers actually do.

In his trademark style, the 77-year old Argentinian pontiff took to Twitter to mark the start of a debate which has pitted conservative clerics against reformists led by German cardinal Walter Kasper.

“As we begin the Synod on the Family, let us ask the Lord to show us the way forward. #prayforsynod,” he tweeted shortly before presiding over mass in St Peter’s basilica.

In an address to tens of thousands of believers on the eve of the synod opening, Francis urged participants to “lend an ear to the rhythm of our time” and to soak themselves in the “odour” of modern life.

Since becoming pontiff just over 18 months ago, Francis has repeatedly highlighted the “wounds” caused by family breakdown in modern society, while suggesting the Church needs to adapt to this new reality.

“The wounds have to be treated with mercy. The Church is a mother, not a customs office, coldly checking who is within the rules,” he has said, in an allusion to the many divorced people, cohabiting couples and single mothers within the ranks of the Church.

Francis has underlined where he stands by personally marrying couples who had lived together “in sin” prior to their weddings and by baptising a child born to parents married outside of the church.

– Deep divisions –

Since taking office, Francis has taken steps to overhaul the way the Vatican bank and administration are run and has sent out strong signals about the determination of the Church to deal with the issue of clerical sex abuse.

But a reform agenda on social issues could prove much harder to implement because of deep divisions within the Church, Vatican experts say.

Conservatives in the Church hierarchy have already made it clear they will fight any dilution of traditional doctrine.

The Church’s view of marriage has come to be seen as outdated by many in a world where, in some developed countries, nearly one in two marriages ends in divorce and where the notion of the institution itself has been challenged by the global trend towards the legalisation of same-sex weddings.

The bishops gathered in Rome are certainly not about to embrace gay marriage, and few Vatican observers expect much, if any, change on questions such as contraception, another area where Catholic teaching contrasts with the daily practice of millions.

– Easier divorce? –

But with Francis on the side of reform, the feeling is that the synod process could lead to change when it finally reaches conclusions, which is not expected to happen before 2016 at the earliest.

The most notable of these could be a change in the rules to make it possible for Catholics who divorce and then remarry to receive communion.

That has been banned for centuries but critics say the Church’s stance is hard to defend given that individuals who have declared their repentance from more serious breaches of the Christian code, such as murder, can take communion.

While the Church may not yet be ready to take a step that would amount to a de facto acceptance of divorce in certain circumstances, the discussions could result in steps to make it easier for failed marriages to be annulled.

Another area in which the Church could send out a signal of compassion is by making it clear that priests should be ready to baptise the children of same sex couples, regardless of the doctrinal disapproval of their parents’ union.

The synod will also discuss how priests and parishioners can practically help to shore up marriages within their community. Among questions to be addressed on that score is whether the easy availability of pornography in modern society is a factor in family breakdown.

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Tears, prayers as 1.4 million Muslims mark peak of hajj http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/10/03/tears-prayers-as-1-4-million-muslims-mark-peak-of-hajj/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/10/03/tears-prayers-as-1-4-million-muslims-mark-peak-of-hajj/#comments Fri, 03 Oct 2014 08:56:05 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=214426 SAUDI-RELIGION-HAJJ

Tears flowed and prayers filled the air as the annual Muslim hajj by about 1.4 million believers from around the world reached its zenith on a vast plain in western Saudi Arabia Friday.

“I am now a newborn baby and I don’t have any sin,” Nigerian pilgrim Taofik Odunewu told AFP, standing at the foot of Mount Mercy on the Arafat plain, tears streaming down his face.

Odunewu raised his hands to the heavens in the seamless two-piece white “ihram” outfit that he wore.

All male pilgrims dress in ihram to symbolise a state of purity, which also emphasises their unity regardless of social status or nationality.

“I pray for prosperity, long life and.. I pray for my country,” Odunewu said with a broad smile.

“I feel great… I’m on top of the world,” he said at the world’s largest Muslim gathering.

“I’m very blessed to be part of this occasion. I don’t think I will go back to the sinful way,” he pledged.

The hajj, which officially ends on Tuesday, is one of the five pillars of Islam that every capable Muslim must perform at least once.

Hundreds of thousands of pilgrims arrived at Arafat on Friday carrying suitcases and other luggage among thousands of white tents which stood ready to provide temporary homes for the multitude.

Many set up their own tents along the roads. Others even made rough shelters from large yellow garbage bags.

Elderly pilgrims sat in wheelchairs, little ones in prams, and others leaned on sticks as they pushed their way towards Mount Mercy, the hill where Muslim Prophet Mohammed made his final sermon 14 centuries ago.

From early morning, pilgrims crowded onto the slippery, rocky hill, which their uniform attire turned white in colour.

Some prayed and wept, some slept, while others spread their mats and sat reciting the Koran.

Security forces were deployed en masse across Arafat plain and Mount Mercy to organise the flow of pilgrims, who have come from 163 countries as well as Saudi Arabia, home to Islam’s holiest sites.

“This way hajji. Don’t stop here. You’re blocking the way,” security men shouted through loudspeakers, trying to control the crowds.

The number of faithful seemed fewer than past years following a crackdown by authorities on illegal pilgrims.

This year’s hajj comes with Saudi Arabia and four other Arab nations joining Washington in air strikes against Islamic State group militants who have committed a spate of atrocities in Syrian and Iraqi territory they seized.

Saudi authorities are also striving to protect pilgrims from two deadly viruses, Ebola and the MERS coronavirus.

No such cases have been recorded among the hajj visitors, officials say.

Odunewu and other pilgrims from Nigeria were permitted to enter Saudi Arabia for hajj, despite eight Ebola deaths in their country.

Three West African states hardest hit by Ebola have not been allowed hajj visas.

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Oyakhilome Removes Wife’s Name, Photo From Publication http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/09/30/oyakhilome-removes-wifes-names-photo-from-publication/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/09/30/oyakhilome-removes-wifes-names-photo-from-publication/#comments Tue, 30 Sep 2014 12:37:44 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=214024 Founder of Christ Embassy, Pastor Chris Oyakhilome, has removed his estranged wife’s pictures and name, Anita, from the church’s monthly devotional publication, Rhapsody of Realities after her pictures and personal information had been removed from the church’s website, a few months ago.

Anita was reportedly sidelined from her key role and the role taken over  by a prominent female member of the church, Yemisi Kudehinbu, who recently succeeded Pastor Phillip as the Chief Executive Officer of the Believers Love World Incorporated, an umbrella body in charge of Rhapsody.

•Anita Oyakhilome: Details missing in publication

•Anita Oyakhilome: Details missing in publication

The removal of Anita’s profile from Rhapsody took effect from the October edition of the monthly devotional book, which she co-authored with Pastor Chris.

Oyakhilome is the president of Believers’ Love World Inc, the registered name of the Christian ministry, while his wife was the vice-president. They both have two teenage daughters, Sharon and Charlyn.

According to reports, Anita’s pictures, which used to adorn the front and back pages of Rhapsody with her husband, were edited from the latest publication. The current edition has only the name of Pastor Chris, while the back page was filled with only testimonies.

The latest development has worsened the divorce mess between the church’s leader and his wife, Anita, who reportedly filed for dissolution of their marriage on the grounds of “unreasonable behaviour” and “adultery” on 9 April, 2014, according to an online newspaper, The Cable.

Two days after it was reported that Anita had filed for divorce in London, Christ Embassy deleted her pictures and personal information from its official website, www.christembassy.org.

Many describe the action as the beginning of a process to shut her out of the church, after she accused her husband of “adultery” and “unreasonable behaviours” in the divorce suit.

Christ Embassy’s new website now shows only Pastor Chris Oyakhilome.

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Jonathan lauds Bishop Oyedepo at 60 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/09/26/jonathan-lauds-bishop-oyedepo-at-60/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/09/26/jonathan-lauds-bishop-oyedepo-at-60/#comments Fri, 26 Sep 2014 18:52:07 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=213586 Bishop David Oyedepo

Bishop David Oyedepo

President Goodluck Jonathan has praised Bishop David Oyedepo’s massive accomplishments as a devoted servant of God and his immense contributions to the education of Nigerian children.

In a letter written to congratulate the Presiding Bishop of the Living Faith Church Worldwide on his 60th birthday anniversary, tomorrow, Saturday, September 27, 2014, President Jonathan declared that Bishop Oyedepo’s life was “truly worthy of celebration”.

“I write on behalf of my family, the Government and people of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to rejoice with you as you mark your milestone 60th birthday anniversary.

“Yours is, indeed, a life truly worthy of celebration. You have attained lofty heights not just as an accomplished selfless servant of God, but also in the committed service of community, country, and our common humanity.

“You have not only committed to giving your all in pursuit of the massively impactful propagation of the Word, you have also embraced the cause of providing quality education for our children.

“As Almighty God continues to bless you with robust health and many more years of happiness, uncommon accomplishment, and fulfilling service, it is my prayer that you will continue to partner with us in our quest to reposition Nigeria for peace, progress and prosperity,” Jonathan said.

He then wished Oyedepo a happy birthday.

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Be good ambassadors, Amosun tells Ogun pilgrims http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/09/25/be-good-ambassadors-amosun-tells-ogun-pilgrims/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/09/25/be-good-ambassadors-amosun-tells-ogun-pilgrims/#comments Thu, 25 Sep 2014 10:01:12 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=213333 Abiodun Onafuye/Abeokuta

Governor Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun state has advised all the pilgrims from the state to this year’s hajj exercise in the holy land of Saudi Arabia to be a good ambassador of the state, warning them not to do things that will tarnish the good name of the Gateway State.

The governor also enjoined them to maintain the level of discipline which is currently been exhibited at the holy land till the completion of all hajj rites.

Amosun stated this Wednesday evening while addressing the second batch A and B set of pilgrims from the state during a special visit (Sihara) to some special places in the city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia.

The governor, who was represented by the Amir-ul-Hajj for the 2014 Hajj exercise, Alhaji Sheik Imam Abdul-Qudri Junaid disclosed that the level of orientation and seminars instilled in the pilgrims before embarking on the exercise has impacted positively on their level of conduct.

He added that adequate welfare of pilgrims remains a priority of his administration, while the exercise lasted.

The leader of the state delegation, Amirul hajj,who was accompanied by some members of the State Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board, noted that, “though the success achieved by the present administration in the state has been through constant prayers and support of all and sundry, no stones would be left unturned at ensuring that the wishes of the people reflect in its programmes and policies.

“As Muslims, we must ensure that we maintain the positive conduct been exhibited since arrival in Saudi Arabia which has earned us accolades in recent past and I urge you to intensify prayers for the success of the Senator Ibikunle Amosun led administration in its rebuilding mission”, Imam Junaid stated.

Imam Abdul Quadri Junaid, Amirul hajj, Ogun State (with megaphone), Imam Sodeinde( Left) and Sheik Is keel Lawal Sugar (Right) while the message of the governor was being convened

Imam Abdul Quadri Junaid, Amirul hajj, Ogun State (with megaphone), Imam Sodeinde( Left) and Sheik Is keel Lawal Sugar (Right) while the message of the governor was being convened

In a related development, wife of the Speaker of the Ogun State House of Assembly, Mrs. Simbiat Oluwaseun Adekunbi advised pilgrims from the State to always follow the dictates of the Holy Quran in the performance of the hajj rites as prescribed, urging them to continuously offer prayers for the success of the present administration in the State.

Mrs. Adekunbi made this admonition Wednesday while offering lunch to the state delegations to the holy land of Mecca and Medina.

The mother of three, however disclosed that the gesture was in appreciation of the favour of Almighty Allah on his family and the State in general, adding that, “pilgrims must be steadfast and prepared to complete all stipulated rites expected of them during the exercise, for it to be accepted by Allah as an act of Ibadah”, she submitted.

Earlier in their separate goodwill messages to all the pulgrims, the duo of Imam Noah Sodeinde and Sheik Iskeel Lawal, who are members of the State Muslim Welfare Pilgrims Board noted that the State contingents to this year hajj had never had it so good in terms of facilities provided, compared to previous arrangements, charging them that, they must ensure steady health status in anticipation of movement to Minna camp for the completion of the hajj rites.

While reacting on behalf of the delegations, Giasu Yusuf Akorede and Hajia Surratt Oluwakemi Omotara described the welfare packages and the first class accommodation provided as exemplary and worthy of emulation.

The duo further revealed that they were convinced with what they heard from those that performed the exercise last year, in terms of good treatment.

Some of the historical holy sites visited by the pilgrims include Mount Jabalitoro, Mount Arafat, Jabal Nur, Musdalipha and Minna, all in the holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia.

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Bishop expelled for child sex abuse under house arrest http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/09/24/bishop-expelled-for-child-sex-abuse-under-house-arrest/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/09/24/bishop-expelled-for-child-sex-abuse-under-house-arrest/#comments Wed, 24 Sep 2014 15:24:50 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=213236 Archbishop Jozef  Wesolowski

Archbishop Jozef Wesolowski

Archbishop Jozef Wesolowski, former Vatican Ambassador to the Dominican Republic has been placed under house arrest over sexual abuse of children.

Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi said on Wednesday in Vatican City that Pope Francis had personally ordered swift action in the case.

He said the 65-year old former archbishop was convicted of sex abuse by a Church tribunal in June and defrocked pending further criminal proceedings.

Lombardi said the legal move was the result of the pope’s express wish for a case this serious and sensitive to be dealt with without delay.

He said Wesolowski was being held under house arrest in an apartment within the same building as the criminal court.

If the case goes to trial, it will be the first sex abuse within the tiny city state.

Wesolowski’s defrocking came six months after the UN children’s rights watchdog highlighted his case as an example of the Vatican’s failure to take concrete actions to prove its commitment to stamp out the abuse of minors by priests.

The Vatican has been accused by some critics of attempting to protect Wesolowski from Dominican jurisdiction by recalling him to Rome.

Wesolowski had been ambassador to the Dominican Republic since 2008, but was recalled by Pope Francis last August following accusations of sexually abusing minors.

He was ordained in 1972 by then archbishop of Krakow, Cardinal Karol Wojtyla, who later became Pope John Paul II and was elevated to sainthood this year.

The Church has faced a decade-long series of scandals over abuse by priests and lay officials from Ireland to the U.S. and Australia.

It was fiercely condemned by the United Nations in January for failing to stamp out child abuse and allowing systematic cover-ups by simply moving around clergy suspected of raping or molesting children.

Francis has vowed to crack down on abuse in the Catholic Church, reiterating the zero-tolerance approach of his predecessor.

Last year, he overhauled Vatican law issuing a special decree declaring that sexual violence and sexual acts with children, child prostitution and child pornography were punishable by up to 12 years in prison.

In May, he warned there were “no privileges” for bishops when it came to child sex crimes and likened sexual abuse to a “Satanic mass”.

At a UN hearing earlier this year, Vatican officials revealed that 3,420 abuse cases had been handled over the past decade by the Catholic Church’s Canon Law prosecutors.

As a result of these cases, 848 priests were defrocked while a further 2,572 were ordered to “live a life of prayer or penance” for example in a monastery.

The Vatican says it receives around 600 claims against abusive priests every year, many dating back to the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s.

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Nigeria’s Top Pastors In Trouble http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/09/19/nigerias-top-pastors-in-trouble/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/09/19/nigerias-top-pastors-in-trouble/#comments Fri, 19 Sep 2014 12:40:37 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=212471 Eromosele Ebhomele

Counted among the wealthiest pastors in the world, Ayo Oritsejafor, the President of the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, Prophet Temitope Joshua, of the Synagogue Church of All Nations, and Pastor Chris Oyakhilome of the Believers Love World, better known as Christ Embassy, all have something in common.

They are frontline Nigerian clergymen who manage churches that boast of thousands of worshippers, sympathisers and admirers. Their words, most times, are hardly opposed by their church members and they are seen as God’s representatives on earth.

For these pastors, however, the year 2014 has been quite turbulent in various ways. While some are battling with issues of their alleged inability to handle their families like they often preach, others are having to find as much convincing explanation as they could over their involvement in allegations of money laundering, which are yet to be proven against them.

For some of these big pastors, however, this is not the first time they would be enmeshed in controversial issues and allegations. But this year it is coming in torrents.

•Oritsejafor

•CAN President, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor

For Ayo Oritsejafor, beginning from when he broke up with the late Archbishop Benson Idahosa and left the Church of God Mission to begin his ministry in Warri, Delta State, he has continued to grow in christendom. From being the President of the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria, he became the President of the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, a larger body.

His emergence and activities also came with some controversies that saw bishops of the Catholic Church breaking away from the association.

Despite his explanation that his private jet was a gift from his church members, speculations that the jet was given to him by President Goodluck Jonathan are still on.

Oritsejafor, who, critics have accused of reducing CAN to a political arm of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, is currently enmeshed in a controversy involving the use of his private jet by two Nigerians and an Israeli in a $9.3 million cash transfer from Nigeria purportedly to purchase arms for the Federal Government in South Africa..

Oritsejafor agrees he owns the jet that was seized by South African authorities, but said he does not know anything about the controversy surrounding the huge cash since the jet was chattered by those managing it.

Some Nigerians do not believe this. Former Minister of the FCT, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai, has asked the flamboyant clergyman to look beyond his bling and answer questions about his involvement in the deal which some argue could be a failed money laundering attempt.

In the case of Prophet T.B. Joshua, the collapse of a building in his church on Friday, 12 September, that led to the death of at least 80 worshippers, has exposed him to severe criticisms. However, many, including some of his enemies, would attest to the fact that most of his predictions have come true, making him one of the most visited among pastors in Nigeria.

Besides this, he is believed to boost the tourism sector of the country with his uniquely built and attractive church. The founder of Synagogue Church of All Nations, SCOAN, with a 15,000 seating capacity, is believed to be worth between $10 million and $15 million.

Now, this prophet is facing the most challenging period of his life following the collapse of a six-storey building within his church premises. The building, with several tastefully furnished rooms and suites,  accommodated foreign visitors and worshippers of the church until last Friday when the entire building came crashing down.

Prophet Joshua attracted harsh criticisms when, days later, he announced that he was the target of terrorists, who attacked the church building. Footage of an aircraft which hovered around the church shortly before it came down was published online.

But the Lagos State Government on Thursday claimed that the building was an illegal structure which was defective from the beginning. This claim follows another by the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, which said the building was originally supposed to have only four floors and not six.

The South African Government also added to the controversy when it said it lost 67 citizens when the building collapsed, with many wondering why Joshua could not predict the incident.

•Pastor Chris Oyakhilome of Christ Embassy church

•Pastor Chris Oyakhilome of Christ Embassy church

On his part, Chris Oyakhilome, fondly called Pastor Chris, the founder of Christ Embassy, is estimated to worth between $30 million and $50 million and boasts of over 40,000 members with many, according to a report, being successful businessmen and hippy undergraduates.

A pastor and businessman, he has interests in printing, hotels, real estate and media which include LoveWorld TV network and thee first Christian TV networks

Pastor Chris is currently having a running battle with Anita, his wife and Vice President of his church in a messy divorce case.

According to reports, a major reason why Anita has made up her mind to leave her husband and father of their two children is simply because Oyakhilome, who heads the church branch in South Africa, is not measuring up as a husband and real family man.

Filing a divorce at a UK court on the ground that “the marriage has broken down irretrievably,” as well as inappropriate relationships with female members of the church, her lawyers said in the court papers: “the wife submits that her marriage to the husband has irretrievably broken down and there is no hope of reconciliation. The wife will submit that it is the husband’s unreasonable behaviours which have led to this.

“…The wife will say that they have lived separately for 16 years and over this time have drifted apart. The wife has come to realise that the husband will only visit the UK for the annual church programmes that he holds rather than to be with this wife. The wife feels that he has been unavailable as a father to their children during their developing years.

•Prophet T.B .Joshua, Synagogue Church of All Nations

•Prophet T.B .Joshua, Synagogue Church of All Nations

“The wife feels that their marriage suffered under the pressure of their work. They would rarely spend time together due to the husband’s unavailability. Special occasions such as Christmas, birthdays and family occasions and anniversaries pass them by and they rarely spent any time together as a family as the husband was more devoted to his work than he was to them.

“The wife feels that she has been used to portray and enhance the husband’s image as a family man when the reality is that there is no existing relationship between them.

“As a result of the husband’s attitude to their marriage, the wife will say that he is virtually not recognised as a married man in the ministry. His teachings and beliefs on marriage is that the husband is a master and a controller and the wife will say that his concept of biblical submission is so extreme that it is impossible for her to meet his expectations.

“She feels humiliated by the way he treats her in the presence of his close female staff members and she feels that she has been taken for granted which has become unbearably stressful for her.”

Archbishop Olubunmi Okogie, who could not stomach the embarrassment the divorce case was causing to Christianity, slammed both of them for refusing to practise what they preach.

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Kebbi airport transports 537 pilgrims to Saudi Arabia http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/09/13/kebbi-airport-transports-537-pilgrims-to-saudi-arabia/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/09/13/kebbi-airport-transports-537-pilgrims-to-saudi-arabia/#comments Sat, 13 Sep 2014 00:56:15 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=211478 L-R: Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa'adu Abubakar III and Kebbi State governor, Alhaji Sa'idu Dakingari are joined by other royal fathers to open Kebbi airport

L-R: Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’adu Abubakar III and Kebbi State governor, Alhaji Sa’idu Dakingari are joined by other royal fathers to open Kebbi airport

No fewer than 537 intending pilgrims from Kebbi were transported to Saudi Arabia through the newly constructed Sir, Ahmadu Bello International Airport.

The Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’adu Abubakar III, who inaugurated the first batch of the plight in Birnin Kebbi on Friday, advised the pilgrims to be good ambassadors of the nation.

He attributed the delay in early commencement of the airlift of the pilgrims to the delay caused by the Saudi Arabian Consulate in the issuance of visa.

He said the Federal Government had completed arrangements on the general welfare of the pilgrims, adding that, “we would not relent in making you convenient while at the Holy Land.”

The sultan, who is also the nation’s Amirul Hajj, commended the Kebbi state government for constructing such a befitting airport.

He, however, urged the pilgrims to pray assiduously to the country, adding that, “we are in dare need of peace in our country, hence the need for you to devote in praying for this country as part of your contribution towards peace in your homeland.”

In his remark, the Governor of Kebbi, Alhaji Sa’idu Dakingari, said the airport worthiness was certified to be 98 per cent by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA).

He said the airport would generate revenue to the state,stressing, “we also generated 500 employment to the people.”

Our Correspondent reports that the pilgrims were transported by Max Air, with registration number 5N-BMG.

NAN reports that the Emir of Gwandu, Alhaji Muhammad Bashir; Emir of Yauri, Alhaji Zayyanu Abdullahi and Emir of Argungu, Alhaji Samaila Mera, were among the thousands of people at the airport, who witnessed the first plight.

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None dead at Synagogue building collapse – Church http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/09/12/none-dead-at-synagogue-building-collapse-church/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/09/12/none-dead-at-synagogue-building-collapse-church/#comments Fri, 12 Sep 2014 22:06:22 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=211454 By Simon Ateba

Synagouge

The Synagogue Church of All Nations (SCOAN), said on Friday that no one has been confirmed dead following the building collapse that occurred near the main church auditorium in Lagos.

‎The media department of the church explained that contrary to media reports, no one is trapped in the rubbles.

The church said those who were injured are being cared for, adding that it would come up with a statement soon.

Prophet T.B. Joshua was not available for comments, but the media department of the church said efforts to determine what caused the collapse of the six-storey building at about 1:00 p.m. is ongoing.

Synagogue-church

The church said officials of the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA) cordoned off the site while rescue operation was ongoing.

Journalists, the church said, would be taken to the site when it is safe for everyone.

it would be recalled that Mr Ibrahim Farinloye, spokesman for the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), South-West Zone, said at least three persons were feared dead and 15 injured earlier today while responding to questions from newsmen at the scene.

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Prophet dumps wife, opts for mistress http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/09/12/prophet-dumps-wife-opts-for-mistress/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/09/12/prophet-dumps-wife-opts-for-mistress/#comments Fri, 12 Sep 2014 07:58:03 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=211278 Cyriacus Izuekwe

Prophet Samuel Sunday Oyedokun has instituted a legal suit against his estranged wife, prophetess Victoria Oyedokun after she reportedly fought him in a public over allegation that he sent away his two wives and brought in a mistress to their Ejigbo home in Lagos state, Southwest, Nigeria.

Following her actions, prophet Samuel filed a divorce suit at the Ejigbo Customary Court seeking the dissolution of their 34-year old marriage.

The 52-year old Victoria alleged that Samuel, 70, deceived her to marrying him only to discover that he had two other wives after 20 years.

When Victoria discovered the betrayal, she protested and moved out their matrimonial home but Samuel did not bother to bring her back, rather he brought in his mistress who has been living with him.

When Victoria got wind of the new development, she reportedly went to their resident and church located at 5/7 Jimo Dada street and engaged prophet Samuel and members of church in a serious fight over the mistress and insisted to return to her matrimonial home.

But Samuel told her blatantly that she would not return because she had already left him, noting that, she has been replaced by her mistress who is taking care of him.

Samuel told the court that despite the fact that Victoria left, he still caters for their four children. He said he went to the court because of her threats against him and other church members.

court of law

Testifying before the court, Samuel who is the founder of Cherubim and Sarafin, C/S Ejigbo district, told the court that he married Victoria and two other women years back but that they all left him.

He admitted that he was staying with a mistress who is taking care of him, adding that, the two other women he married are still alive but are not living with him.

Samuel admitted before the court that he was keeping a mistress but stated that the woman only assists him with domestic work and chores, like cooking, washing. He claimed that there is no sexual relationship between the two of them.

Samuel told the court that Victoria left her matrimonial home 20 years ago and since then they have being living separately.

He said he was surprised that she came to the church to fight members including his mistress, insisting that she wanted to come back him. He said he had no plans for her and therefore wanted the marriage to be dissolved.

Samuel explained that he wants the court to dissolve the marriage because he was no more in love with Victoria because of her bad character. He also asked the court to give an order preventing her from coming to his house and church.

The embattled Victoria told the court they got married, things were working fine until her husband brought in a strange woman with a baby and that she did not know he was married to other women before he married her.

The president of the court, Mr B.A. Akano adjourned the matter till 24 September for continuation of trial

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Hajj: Kebbi processes visa for 2,500 pilgrims http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/09/08/hajj-kebbi-processes-visa-for-2500-pilgrims/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/09/08/hajj-kebbi-processes-visa-for-2500-pilgrims/#comments Mon, 08 Sep 2014 14:58:43 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=210720 The Kebbi State Pilgrims Welfare Agency says it has processed travel visa for 2,500 state’s intending pilgrims to enable them travel to Saudi Arabia for this year’s Hajj this week.

Alhaji Abdullahi Shema, Executive Chairman of the agency told NAN in Birnin Kebbi on Monday that the processed visas were for five flights out of eight flights earmarked for the exercise.

The executive secretary added that the agency had contracted Max airline for the transportation of the pilgrims.

He said that the agency had subjected all intending pilgrims to a three-month orientation on how to perform Hajj and get acquainted with the rules and regulations of Saudi Arabian authorities.

Shema said that the exercise laid more emphasis on the laws against drug trafficking.

Mecca

Mecca

He said that the intending pilgrims were also screened against diseases, pregnancy and old age, noting that anybody body found to be having either of the conditions would be disqualified from the journey.

He said that pregnancy and disease test would be repeated at the point of departure, adding the newly constructed Ahmadu Bello International Airport would be used for the exercise.

He said that befitting accommodation had been secured closer to the two holy mosques in the cities of Mecca and Medina for the state’s pilgrims.

The executive secretary added that the agency had trained Hajj guides on how to handle pilgrims’ matters.

He said that medical team, including doctors, nurses and other relevant health experts had been constituted and would be provided with all the logistics for the success of the exercise.

NAN reports that a total of 4,179 intending pilgrims from the state are expected to perform this year’s Hajj in Saudi Arabia.

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Hajj: Shehu appeals to FG to allow Borno airlift http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/09/07/hajj-shehu-appeals-to-fg-to-allow-borno-airlift/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/09/07/hajj-shehu-appeals-to-fg-to-allow-borno-airlift/#comments Sun, 07 Sep 2014 18:21:37 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=210571 Shehu of Borno, Alhaji Abubakar Ibn Garbai

Shehu of Borno, Alhaji Abubakar Ibn Garbai

The Shehu of Borno, Alhaji Abubakar Ibn Garbai, has appealed to the Federal Government to allow the airlift of intending pilgrims to this year’s Hajj from Borno and Yobe through the Maiduguri International Airport.

Garbai made the appeal while speaking with NAN on Sunday in Maiduguri. He said that the appeal was based on recent developments that barred intending pilgrims to lesser Hajj (Umrah) from using the airport.

“We are appealing to the Federal Government to allow the use of the Maiduguri International Airport for the airlift of pilgrims to this year’s Hajj to Saudi Arabia.

“The appeal is based on the recent happenings in which Lesser Hajj Pilgrims were prevented from being airlift from the airport,” Garbai said.

He said diverting pilgrims from Borno to other states would create disharmony in the exercise.

“We have about 5,000 intending pilgrims from both Borno and Yobe waiting to be airlifted from the airport. Diverting these pilgrims to other states will no doubt caused enormous hardship on them,” Garbai said.

The traditional ruler said that he had contacted the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Abubakar Saad, on their plight.

“I have contacted the Sultan of Sokoto on the issue severally. But we are yet to receive information on the issue from the Federal Government,” Garbai said.

He added: “We are still making an appeal to government to make pronouncement on the issue, because we are running out of time.

“Government should consider the hardship that the pilgrims will face in travelling to other states for airlift.”

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Oyakhilome’s Wife Shut Out Of Church Website http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/09/01/oyakhilomes-wife-shut-out-of-church-website/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/09/01/oyakhilomes-wife-shut-out-of-church-website/#comments Mon, 01 Sep 2014 12:47:49 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=209563 Simon Ateba & Eromosele Ebhomele

The divorce mess between Pastors Chris and Anita Oyakhilome of Christ Embassy Church has worsened, P.M.NEWS can reveal.

 On Sunday, two days after it was reported that Anita Oyakhilome had filed for divorce, Christ Embassy deleted her pictures and personal information from its official website, www.christembassy.org.

 Many describe the action as the beginning of a process to shut her out of the church, after she accused her husband of “adultery” and “unreasonable behaviours” in a divorce suit filed in London last April but only made public on Friday.

Christ Embassy’s new website now shows only Pastor Chris Oyakhilome, with a broad smile welcoming his followers to the month of August, and tagging it, ‘Month of Praise’.

•Chris Oyakhilome

•Chris Oyakhilome

•Anita Oyakhilome

•Anita Oyakhilome

In the message on the website, Oyakhilome also urges his followers to “rejoice for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”

Also, on the website of the Rhapsody of Realities, a daily devotional co-authored by the esrtwhile couple, there’s nothing to show that Anita is still recognised as the only visible face on the website among the family members is that of her husband.

It was too early to know if the September edition of the Rhapsody of Realities still has the photographs of both the pastor and his wife as it used to be.

In the past, when the going was good, Anita and Chris Oyakhilome held hands on the church website and smiled broadly. They projected the image of a perfect couple.

But P.M.NEWS checks at the weekend revealed that there is confusion in the church following the divorce suit filed by Anita to end her over two decades marriage to the founder of Christ Embassy Church.

In the past, Pastor Chris headed the Nigerian branch of the church, though he travelled to other branches occasionally, while Anita headed the branch in London and its environs.

Christ Embassy and its founder have been embroiled in a myriad of controversies in the past. In 2010, Oyakhilome was accused of engineering a money laundering scheme in Nigeria, and questions swirled around his finances because of his glamorous lifestyle.

Many pastors and theologians also excoriated Oyakhilome for his “New Creation” doctrine—a form of gnosticism that says after a person becomes a Christian, any sin they commit is only in the body and will not affect the spirit.

In 2008, Oyakhilome’s reputation as a faith healer was tarnished badly in Johannesburg, South Africa, when a man told a Soweto newspaper that Christ Embassy offered him more than $1,200 to sit in a wheelchair and pretend to be crippled until Oyakhilome prayed for him.

“The man went to the media instead of taking the money, sparking concerns that healings were being faked to impress growing crowds,” said Lee Grady in an article in 2012 published by Charisma Magazine.

Pastor Chris Oyakhilome has also been a target of criticism by the Treatment Action Campaign for his support of faith healing to cure HIV.

Allegations that Christ Embassy members are reportedly being forced to give huge sums of money in offerings with the biggest donors receiving the biggest awards have left many people concerned.

Many Nigerians have also alleged that the church operates like a cult and pressures members to marry only within Christ Embassy.

Many people also remember the scandal involving Christ Embassy and Sheraton Hotel some years ago when a member of the church, who worked at the Sheraton Hotel, stole money from his employers and gave it to Christ Embassy. But when Sheraton approached the church for reimbursement, the church allegedly claimed that the money had been given to God and could not be refunded.

Many also excoriated Pastor Chris some years ago when the church began collecting gate fees from members for their New Year Eve’s Service.

More recently, Oyakhilome came under attack after he claimed that Christians were free to masturbate because it was not a sin.

But the latest scandal involving Anita and Chris, who have two daughters, seems to threaten the very existence of one of the biggest churches in Nigeria.

Christ Embassy runs several arms including the Healing School, Rhapsody of Realities, and an N.G.O called the Innercity Missions as well as three Christian television channels: LoveWorld TV, LoveWorld SAT and LoveWorld Plus.

The church is scattered all over the world, including in the United Kingdom, the United States, South America and the whole of Europe.

Stories about women bringing men of God down are not new. In 1988, Jimmy Swaggart, a famous American preacher was implicated in a sex scandal involving a prostitute that resulted initially in his suspension, and ultimately defrocking, by the Assemblies of God.

Three years later, Swaggart was implicated in another scandal involving a prostitute. As a result, Swaggart’s ministry became non-affiliated, non-denominational and significantly smaller than it was before the scandals.

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PFN, Others Mourn Pa Sadela http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/08/27/pfn-others-mourn-pa-sadela/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/08/27/pfn-others-mourn-pa-sadela/#comments Wed, 27 Aug 2014 12:25:11 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=208906 Kazeem Ugbodaga & Joseph Oluwasanmi

National President, Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria, PFN, Dr. Felix Omobude and other ministers of the gospel have mourned the death of the founder of the Gospel Apostolic Church, GAC, Rev. Samuel Sadela who died at the age of 114 years on Sunday.

Speaking with P.M.NEWS Wednesday, Omobude thanked God for the life Sadela lived, for standing for the truth and righteousness till the end.

“I thank God he lived a good life. We condole with his family and the church in general for the life he lived. Our prayers will continue to go to his family,” he said.

He described Sadela as a gift to Christendom, having spent over 80 years in the ministry and served God passionately for such a long time.

•The late Pa Sadela

•The late Pa Sadela

According to him, for him to have served God for such a long time without blemish was commendable, saying that “the life of a man does not consist in the abundance of riches, but the life he lived.”

Reverend Samuel Ogedengbe, Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Christian Religious Matters, said Sadela had fought a good fight as a minister of God, describing him as a wonderful man of God and that he learnt under him.

“He was a wonderful man who touched many lives. He had lots of challenges, but he was focussed and never deviated. Young pastors should emulate him and not deviate from the word of God,” he said.

Pastor Ezekiel Mayowa of the Deeper Life Bible Church described Sadela as a very strong and revered man of God who kept the standard of the Christian faith with strong conviction and character.

“He did not retire until he died, ministers of God should know that there is no retirement from the work of God until death,” he said.

Pastor Adebola Oladeko, a lawyer and spokesman for the church, said: “Baba died in the early hours of Sunday, at 4.30 a.m. to be precise. We were not caught unawares. Baba had been telling us and preparing us for that  day. He told his son that he was going home, but they did not quickly understand what he was saying. He had prepared us, even somebody else got the same vision. His major concern was for us to go out there and win souls for Christ.

“That Sunday, he was conscious, he knew what he was doing, he told them to bathe him. After exchanging pleasantries with everybody he said he wanted to rest. Immediately he laid on the bed, he died.

“Baba was an oracle of God. Everything concerning him and God was how to propagate the word of God; and that was what he has handed over to us, both his spiritual children to the glory of God. His son is a pastor in this church. His daughter is a deaconess in this church.

“He was a loyal disciple of Jesus Christ. He said you cannot condemn any church; that there must be unity of purpose. He even prayed for Muslims. He gave room to everybody, not discriminating against anyone. He was tolerating to a fault. I will miss his sermons and love he extended to the world.”

Sadela was born in 1900 and spent about 84 years preaching the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.

•Gospel Apostolic Church Headquarters, Gbagada, Lagos.

•Gospel Apostolic Church Headquarters, Gbagada, Lagos.

He died around 4:15 am on Sunday. Sadela established over 180 branches of the GAC worldwide and was said to have been ordained a preacher by the late founder of the Christ Apostolic Church, CAC, Ayo Babalola in 1932 when he was still a member of CAC.

It was gathered that he was with Pa Babalola when he fasted for 40 days and joined him in the praying and fasting. He was commissioned by Babalola who told him to establish a new church before he died when CAC was having problems.

It was learnt that Pa Babalola told him that he should retain the name ‘Apostolic’ in his church which was why it is called Gospel Apostolic Church,” a top member of the church said.

He was also instrumental to the bringing of Four Square Gospel Church to Nigeria. His wife died in 2005 and he remarried about six years ago to a 30-year-old woman when he was 107 years old,.

Sadela is survived by two children-Pastor Nathaniel Sadela and Deaconess Adewunmi Sadela. Pastor Nathaniel, who heads the Ikeja branch of GAC is touted to succeed him.

His burial plans have not been announced by the church yet.

Rev. Sadela was born on the last Saturday of August, 1900 at Ifon, Ondo State, Southwest Nigeria. His parents were Chief Olomonehin Sadela of Imoru (Second in command to the Olumoru of Imoru) and Princess Adetiye Sadela, a princess in the Adanike ruling house in Ifon.

It was not difficult for him to remember the year of his birth because it was the year the District Officer (a white man) under the colonial rule assumed duty at Ifon.  Hence he was fondly called “Aboyinbode” (which means born the same year the white man arrived) by his parents, relatives and friends from childhood till he became an adult. Though his father came from the Olisa Chieftaincy House of Imoru, he was living at Ifon at the time of his birth.  His grandfather, Adidi, was a warrior of repute, but Reverend Samuel Sadela was a warrior of Christ Jesus.

In 1902 as a toddler, little Akinbode was said to have been taught how to read the Holy Bible by the angels of God.  Surprisingly, he could not read any other book apart from the Bible by then.

He completed standard six education in 1920.  He was an active member of the Boys Scout.  He narrowly missed an opportunity to travel to England in 1925 as part of the Nigerian Contingent of the Boys Scout.  He could not make the trip because his father was sick.

He passed the Senior Cambridge in 1946 and London University Matriculation in 1949.  Simultaneously while he was studying for Cambridge and Matriculation examinations he was a correspondence Law Student of Woolshall College, London.  He studied Law for three and a half years and he was qualified to go to the Law School in London for 9 months after which he would have been called to Bar. When he informed Apostle Babalola he was advised not to go and he sacrificed the legal profession for the work of God. Apostle Babalola predicted that a time would come that Rev. Sadela would be surrounded by various professionals (Particularly Choristers with Musical Instruments) working with him in the vineyard of God.  To the glory of God, the prophecy was fulfilled.

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Saudi set to generate $8.5 bn from hajj http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/08/25/saudi-set-to-generate-8-5-bn-from-hajj/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/08/25/saudi-set-to-generate-8-5-bn-from-hajj/#comments Mon, 25 Aug 2014 15:43:09 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=208627 Mecca

Mecca

Saudi Arabia could earn $8.5 billion from this October’s hajj, according to a study published on Monday, which predicted that two million Muslims would make the pilgrimage to Mecca.

The Mecca Chamber of Commerce said revenues from the world’s largest annual gathering of Muslims would increase by three percent from last year.

The study was based on estimates that 1.98 million pilgrims will travel to the holy Muslim city of Mecca, including 1.38 million, or 70 percent, from abroad.

According to the report, a pilgrim who has travelled from another country will spend an average of 17,381 riyals ($4,633) during Hajj, which runs for five days.

A domestic worshipper pays around 4,948 riyals ($1,319), the study found.

Expenses include housing, food and drink, gifts and phone bills.

Millions of people visit Islamic holy sites in Saudi Arabia for the hajj, a pilgrimage all Muslims are expected to make at least once in their lives if health and finances permit.

Saudi Arabia also hosts millions of Muslims annually for the lesser umrah pilgrimage, which may be undertaken at any time throughout the year.

Around six million Muslims took umrah during the holy fasting month of Ramadan in July this year, according to authorities.

As well as Mecca, Saudi Arabia is also home to Islam’s other holiest place — Medina.

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Stop Handshakes During Church Services — CAN http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/08/20/stop-handshakes-during-church-services-can/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/08/20/stop-handshakes-during-church-services-can/#comments Wed, 20 Aug 2014 13:01:06 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=207854 The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Niger Chapter, has asked its members to desist from handshaking during church services to curb the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) in the state.

The Niger CAN Chairman, Reverend Musa Dada, disclosed this on Tuesday in an interview in Minna.

Dada said the churches have also been directed by the state CAN to continue to enlighten members on the prevention and spread of the deadly Ebola virus.

He said members have also adopted the use of plastic chairs in order to minimise transmission through body fluids.

“CAN as the body of Christ cannot force people to stop handshakes in churches as every individual have his or her beliefs. All we can do is to create awareness to discourage handshakes in churches,” the CAN chapter chairman said.

Ayo Orisejafor, CAN President

Ayo Orisejafor, CAN President

Also, the Catholic Bishop of Minna Diocese, Bishop Martins Uzoukwu, disclosed that Catholic churches in the state had taken a proactive step in this regard.

“This is by bringing in health personnel to educate our members on the Ebola virus,” he said.

Uzoukwu, who spoke through the Cathedral Administrator of St. Michael’s Cathedral Church, Reverend Godwin Yari, said the church had also stopped the use of holy water at the church’s entrance.

He said this was part of measures to fight the deadly disease.

“Why we stopped the use of holy water is because church members dip their hands into the water at the entrance of the church as sign of purification.

“But with the outbreak of Ebola disease, we have ordered it to be stopped,” the Bishop said.

He urged other priests to always protect themselves while praying for the sick so as to avoid direct contact with Ebola victims.

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Cleric calls for prayers to end Ebola http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/08/19/cleric-calls-for-prayers-to-end-ebola/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/08/19/cleric-calls-for-prayers-to-end-ebola/#comments Tue, 19 Aug 2014 17:44:18 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=207728 A quarantine team for Ebola

A quarantine team for Ebola

Sheikh Suleiman Bibire, the Chief Imam of Tudunwada Central Mosque, Lugbe, Abuja, on Tuesday urged Nigerians to intensify prayers to stop the spread of Ebola virus.

Bibire, who made the call in a telephone interview with NAN in Abuja, said prayer was the only weapon that could salvage the situation.

He called on Nigerian leaders, irrespective of their religious, ethnic and socio-political differences to turn to God in the present situation.

“With prayers and sincerity, Ebola will be controlled in no distant time. In every condition or situation we find ourselves; whether in our community or in the country, prayer is the key to solving problem facing the society,” he said.

Bibire, however, urged Muslim leaders to educate their followers on the symptoms and mode of infection to avoid contacting the disease.

He also called on the Federal Government and relevant agencies to continue to isolate victims of the virus to avert further casualties.

The religious leaders also advised government to liaise with the international community for assistance in its quest to tackle the virus.

He said people should avoid traveling to countries where the virus is prevalent, adding, “if you know where such virus is, there is no point going there, since it is highly contagious and spreads fast.

“Those in the affected areas should not be allowed to travel to other countries to avoid spreading the virus.

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