P.M. NEWS Nigeria » Religion http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com First with Nigeria News - Nigerian leading evening Newspaper - Sat, 13 Sep 2014 20:55:40 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0 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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Stop Mocking White Garment Churches —Otubu http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/08/18/stop-mocking-white-garment-churches-otubu/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/08/18/stop-mocking-white-garment-churches-otubu/#comments Mon, 18 Aug 2014 12:40:42 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=207562 Afolabi Oladele

His Eminence Joseph Otubu, General Evangelist, Cherubim & Seraphim Worldwide,  has  called on Nollywood artistes to stop making mockery of white garment churches in their movies.

Otubu made this appeal at the golden jubilee of Motailatu Church, Cherubim & Seraphim Worldwide, Sanctuary Parish, Lekki, Lagos State, southwest Nigeria, held on Sunday in Lagos.

The Baba Aladura had earlier expressed anger at the Nollywood actors for  making use of  the denomination to portray negative religious practices.

Members of white garment church

Members of white garment church

He, therefore, urged the film making industry to make use of other churches any time the need arises.

“I am always embarrassed whenever I watch any movie that depicts white garment churches in a bad light. Although there are many fake Aladuras parading themselves on the streets, this should not be a yardstick for Nollywood to embarrass our churches. There are other denominations that also parade fake pastors.  Why can’t Nollywood actors portray them too?”

Earlier in his sermon titled Prayer Is The Key, Otubu traced the foundation of Aladura churches to the founder’s belief in efficacy of prayers and also gave conditions through which prayers could be answered by God,  using Philippians 4:6 in the Bible as his guide.

Otubu  said: “Praying with open minded and forgiveness are the first fundamentals for answered prayers. You can’t go into prayer and expect it to be answered if you have not forgiven those that have offended you. In the olden days, our fathers didn’t pray for the number of hours we pray before their prayers are answered by God.”

Founder and supreme head  of the church, His Most Eminence, (Dr.) Motialatu Akinadewo, also spoke about how the  church was founded, why white garment churches always wear white clothes, use designated places for prayers, fasting  and the concept of using  candles, water  and oil for prayers.

The thanksgiving service of the church anniversary was attended by  pastors from other churches and eminent politicians.

The guests include APC governorship  aspirant in Lagos State,  Dr. Leke Pitan; President Apsotolic Church, Pastor G. Olutola,  President, Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, represented by  Rev. Femi Asiwaju; president, Apostolic Church,  Pastor G. Olutola Faleye and Superior Evanglist Olajide, CCC Church.

At the event, Elder J. Iyamu was ordained as the spiritual head, Christ Healing Church International, Lagos.

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Ebola: Catholic bishops approves communion in hand http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/08/17/ebola-catholic-bishops-approves-communion-in-hand/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/08/17/ebola-catholic-bishops-approves-communion-in-hand/#comments Sun, 17 Aug 2014 13:45:49 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=207417 John Cardinal Onaiyekan of the Catholic Church

John Cardinal Onaiyekan of the Catholic Church

The Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria has approved the reception of Holy Communion in the hand as a precautionary measure against the spread of the Ebola virus.

This was contained in a statement issued in Lagos on Saturday by the Catholic Archbishop of Lagos, Most Rev. Alfred Martins.

The statement said although the traditional receipt of Holy Communion remained communion on the tongue, the faithful must prepare for this alternative means of receiving it.

“Due reverence to Jesus in the Holy Eucharist must be maintained. It is important that when the faithful receive the Eucharistic bread in their hands, they must put it in their mouth, consume the host immediately before returning to their seats,” the statement said.

It stressed that the traditional formula for receiving Communion must be maintained, adding that when the Priest says, “The Body of Christ”; the communicant responds: “Amen.”

It emphasised that care must be taken not to allow the particles of the host to fall or scatter.

“The communicant must keep his or her hands clean and maintain a reverential comportment that befits the Body of Christ.

“The Priest or Eucharistic Minister should give the Communion to the faithful themselves. The faithful are not permitted to take the host from the Ciborium or Paten.”

The statement said the kneeling down and expressing adoration and reverence before receiving communion must be observed, adding that it was spiritually significant.

“For in kneeling, a person makes himself/herself small before the presence of God before whom every knee shall bend (Phil. 2:10).

“As Benedict XVI reminded; here his bodily gesture attains the status of a confession of faith, we must insist on this.”

Martins, in the statement, prayed that the Lord Jesus present in the Holy Eucharist should heal Nigeria and protect her in these trying times.

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Ebola: Catholic diocese bars corpses in churches http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/08/16/ebola-catholic-diocese-bars-corpses-in-churches/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/08/16/ebola-catholic-diocese-bars-corpses-in-churches/#comments Sat, 16 Aug 2014 13:59:22 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=207327 Rescuers  carry the dead Ebola victims

The Catholic diocese of Makurdi, Benue, has barred the faithful from taking corpses of late relations to churches for funeral Mass as a measure to check the spread of Ebola virus.

The diocese directed that corpses of deceased members should be given immediate burial. It, however, said that it would allow corpses to be brought to the churches in the area only when death certificates issued by relevant medical authorities were produced.

This was contained in a statement by the Director of Communications in the diocese, Rev. Fr. Moses Iorapuu, in Makurdi on Saturday.

The statement, which was issued on behalf of Bishop of the diocese, Very Rev. Athanissius Usu, also announced changes in two aspects of activities during mass, including the mode of administering the Holy Communion.

According to the statement, parishioners will henceforth be served the eucharistic feast on their hands as against the practice of putting it on their tongue by the priest.

Also, it said, the exchange of the sign of peace, involving handshakes has been replaced with other suitable gestures to avoid the possibilities of contacting the Ebola virus.

The diocese advised priests, who conduct pastoral visitation to hospitals to be cautious and seek doctor’s permission before touching sick people with undisclosed illnesses.

It also announced the prohibition of group prayer sessions that involved touching and praying over unknown sicknesses.

According to the statement, the measures, which are in accordance with Federal Government’s directive on ways to prevent the spread of Ebola virus, are aimed at safeguarding the health of members.

“We hope that with these preventive pastoral and standard procedures and with prayers and steadfastness in responsible behaviours, the Lord will keep this virus away from us.

“We also encourage personal hygiene, washing of hands regularly, clean environment and eating habits.

“We urge you not to ignore government’s advice and other official statements on how to prevent the outbreak of Ebola virus,” it stated.

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Where you go will determine if you live or die – Kumuyi http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/08/14/where-you-go-will-determine-if-you-live-or-die-kumuyi/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/08/14/where-you-go-will-determine-if-you-live-or-die-kumuyi/#comments Thu, 14 Aug 2014 03:02:53 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=206942 Pastor Williams Kumuyi

Pastor Williams Kumuyi

Pastor William Kumuyi, General Superintendent, Deeper Life Bible Church, has warned Nigerians to be careful of the invitations they accept if they wanted to live.

Delivering a sermon on Wednesday at a three-day crusade meeting in Aba, the Abia commercial nerve-centre, Kumuyi said invitations from Satan and his agents were usually attractive, but destructive.

In the message entitled: “Whose invitation will you accept,” he said invitation by Jesus Christ, the Son of God, would to salvation, miracles and eternal life.

Kumuyi noted that some persons who appear to be friends were agents of the Satan like Balak in the Bible.

“When you answer invitation by Satan and his agents, God forsakes you and the end of such a journey is death.

“You will seek a way but everywhere would be locked; you may want help but none will come,” he said.

Quoting Revelation Chapter 22 verse 16, he said that the Holy Spirit of God and the Bride who is Jesus Christ, was inviting men and women to come, dine and drink that they may have life.

“The God of wonders and miracles invites you to come, and it is when you respond to his invitation that salvation, miracles and healings comes to you.

“Will you respond to Christ’s invitation or Satan’s? The choice is yours.

“If you make up your mind to respond to the invitation of Christ,” he said, “you will get salvation, signs and wonders”.

“Deliverance, prosperity and eternal life will be yours if you answer Christ’s invitation,” Kumuyi stressed.

He enjoined people to reject Satan and his works and renounce everything about him in order to enjoy the full blessings of God here on earth and thereafter in heaven.

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Methodist Church Declares War Against Polygamy http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/08/13/methodist-church-declares-war-against-polygamy/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/08/13/methodist-church-declares-war-against-polygamy/#comments Wed, 13 Aug 2014 12:54:53 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=206887 Kazeem Ugbodaga

The Methodist Church Nigeria has declared war on leaders and members who are still having more than one wife. Rising from its Biennial Conference in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, southern Nigeria, the church said it was time to purge the Church of Christ from church workers and members still comfortable with having more than one wife.

A communiqué issued at the end of the 9th Biennial Conference resolved that workers and members practicing polygamy would be stopped from holding any position in the church.

“Conference resolve that any member of the church who goes into a polygamous relationship will henceforth be sanctioned in accordance with the Rules of the Church,” the communiqué said.

The communiqué was signed by Rt. Rev. C. Raphael Opoko, TFG Secretary of Conference and His Eminence, Dr. Samuel Emeka Kanu Uche, Prelate, Methodist Church Nigeria.

On the abduction of over 200 female students of Government Secondary School, Chibok, Borno State, the Conference condemned the callous activities of the Boko Haram insurgents and expressed concern over their continued absence from their families and loved ones.

“While praying for their release from their evil abductors, Conference calls on the Federal Government and the International Community to do everything humanly possible to free these girls and return them to their families.

“Conference prays for divine comfort and succour for the families of these young girls who are experiencing intense traumatic experiences over these incidents,” it said.

Dr. Samuel Chukwu-Emeka Kanu Uche

Dr. Samuel Chukwu-Emeka Kanu Uche

In the same vein, the Conference urged all communities at loggerheads across the nation to sheath their swords and embrace peace, saying peace is a vital tool for the development of any nation or society.

“Conference calls on Nigerians to be tolerant of one another and to show respect for other people’s views even when they are diametrically opposed to ours as these are part of the mechanics of having sustainable growth,” it added.

The Conference appealed passionately to those engaged in armed robbery, kidnapping, human trafficking, baby factories, oil bunkering and other terrible vices troubling the society to change their lifestyle for a more positive and productive one and contribute their quota meaningfully to national re-birth.

“Conference also calls on the Federal Government to do more in the area of creating jobs so as to engage unemployed Nigerians (especially the youths) whose population is growing astronomically and is posing itself as a ticking time bomb waiting to explode.

“Conference calls on the people of Rivers State to come together and consolidate on the gains of democracy achieved so far under an atmosphere of peace and love. Conference enjoins the political leadership of the state and the citizenry to work together for the future of the state and for the generation unborn,” it said.

While commending members of the national conference for arriving at a consensus on nineteen out of twenty Committee reports, the conference urged them to resolve all issues around the devolution of power, with maturity and love for the nation, urging the National Assembly to adopt all the credible proposals that would move the country forward.

The communiqué also urged all tiers of government to be more pro-active in preventive health care and on the Ebola plague, it advocated concerted efforts on dissemination of information, particularly preventive measures, to the citizens, imploring people to pay attention to personal hygiene and avoid panicking.

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Adeboye Ordains 1,101 Pastors http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/08/12/adeboye-ordains-1101-pastors/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/08/12/adeboye-ordains-1101-pastors/#comments Tue, 12 Aug 2014 13:31:38 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=206696 Femi Anjorin

The General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, RCCG,  Pastor Enoch Adejare Adeboye has ordained over 1000 pastors of the church.

The event took place during the 62nd Annual Convention of the church at the Redemption Camp on Lagos-Ibadan expressway.

 Pastor Adeboye made this known on Sunday during the ordination service that brought the convention to conclusion.

Pastor E. A. Adeboye

Pastor E. A. Adeboye

He said: “We have come to the most important moment of this year’s convention, where the church will be ordaining 1101 former Assistant Pastors to the office of the full Pastor of the church.

“The office of Pastor is the highest anyone can get to in the Redeemed Christian Church of God, the General Overseer himself is a Pastor.”

He urged the congregation not to be onlookers, rather to start praying for the men of God that were being ordained.

Some of the assistant pastors had spent more than eight years before their ordination last Sunday.

Delivering the ordination sermon, one of the newly appointed members of the Governing Council of the church who also doubles as the Special Assistant to the General Overseer, SATGO, in charge of administration and personnel, Pastor Johnson Funso Odesola, urged the newly ordained pastors to be obedient and strive for perfection always.

He advised them to be filled with the Holy Spirit which will make the race easy for them to run.

Meanwhile, during the week long convention, 111 babies were born, including a set of twins. The babies comprised 63 boys and 48 girls.

All the babies and their mothers were in good condition.

Pastor Adeboye thanked the Almighty God and all those who attended this year’s convention in spite the efforts by the devil to ensure the convention did not hold.

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Sokoto Sultanate asks district heads to monitor newcomers http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/08/10/sokoto-sultanate-asks-district-heads-to-monitor-newcomers/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/08/10/sokoto-sultanate-asks-district-heads-to-monitor-newcomers/#comments Sun, 10 Aug 2014 12:52:46 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=206474 President-General of NSCIA and Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar III

President-General of NSCIA and Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar III

The Sultanate Council of Sokoto has advised district heads to monitor newcomers into their communities in view of the prevailing security situation in Nigeria.

The advice was contained in a communiqué issued in Sokoto on Saturday at the end of a meeting between the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar, and the district heads.

The communiqué was signed by the Secretary, Sultanate Council of Sokoto, Alhaji Attahiru Hussaini. The statement said that traditional rulers should henceforth send monthly reports about their communities to the Sultanate Council in Sokoto.

The communiqué directed “village and ward heads should monitor new comers to their hamlets and villages and report same to their district heads.

“These reports must be sent in the first week of the new month, while a committee will be set up by the council to study and analyse the reports with a view to identifying defaulting district heads.

“There is the need for the district heads to set up a committee at the district, village and hamlet levels.

“This is with the view to taking more care of government development projects in their respective areas.”

The communiqué stressed the need for traditional rulers to continue to monitor the current campaign on polio eradication being waged by the three tiers of government.

It also stressed the need for the traditional rulers to educate their subjects on the importance of the National Identity Card and the permanent voter card so that they could get them.

The communiqué also urged the district heads to be more pro-active in the collection of Zakkat and endowment in their respective areas.

It said that, upon collection, they should liaise with the State Zakkat and Endowment Committee for proper distribution.

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Jonathan wants religious leaders to support war against terrorism http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/08/09/jonathan-wants-religious-leaders-to-support-war-against-terrorism/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/08/09/jonathan-wants-religious-leaders-to-support-war-against-terrorism/#comments Sat, 09 Aug 2014 06:52:51 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=206191 President Goodluck Jonathan

President Goodluck Jonathan

President Goodluck Jonathan on Friday called on religious leaders to join hands with the Federal Government in the fight against terrorism in the country.

Jonathan made the call in Aboh Mbaise, Aboh Mbaise Local Government Area of Imo during the requiem mass for Chief Paulinus Opara, father of John-Kennedy, Executive Secretary of National Christian Pilgrims Commission.

Jonathan, represented by Governor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa, said the greatest problem confronting the nation today was terrorism.

He said government would continue to play its roll in tackling the challenge, but added that the problem should not be left for government alone.

Jonathan said the late Opara, who served in the Nigerian Army, was a man with amiable qualities, adding that, he served the nation with dignity and humility. He said his legacies would speak for him even after his death.

Jonathan urged the citizens, especially public office holders, to live a life that would speak positively for them when they passed away. He urged the Opara family not to allow the demise of their patriarch to weigh them down.

Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo said that Opara lived a life worthy of emulation.

“We have come to bury a man who lived a just life; but we still need others to follow his footsteps so that they will be remembered for something good,” he said.

He urged politicians in Imo not to witch-hunt one another but to play politics that promotes unity and progress.

He commended the NCPC John-Kennedy for the roll he has been playing in bridging the gap between Christians and Muslims.

The presiding priest, John Cardinal Onaiyekan, said though death was a necessary end for everybody, what mattered most was the legacy left behind.

He said Christians would continue to pray for the nation against any form of terrorism and other national challenges.

John-Kennedy promised to continue with the good work done by his father, adding that this would reflect in the discharge of responsibilities as the executive secretary of NCPC.

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Interfaith Conference: Muslim, Christian clerics meet http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/08/08/interfaith-conference-muslim-christian-clerics-meet/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/08/08/interfaith-conference-muslim-christian-clerics-meet/#comments Fri, 08 Aug 2014 09:06:50 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=206023 John Cardinal Onaiyekan

John Cardinal Onaiyekan

The Catholic Archdiocese of Abuja on Thursday said the second conference of the Interfaith Initiative for Peace would hold between 11 and 12 August in Abuja.

This was contained in a statement issued by Rev. Fr. Patrick Alumuku, the diocese’s Director of Communications, in Abuja.

It said President Goodluck Jonathan was expected to declare the conference open. It also said that state governors, national and state legislators, the judiciary, religious and traditional leaders, professionals, academics and leaders of thought were expected at the conference.

According to the statement, Dr William Vendley, Secretary-General, World Council of Religious Leaders, Sheikh Shaban Mubaje, Grand Mufti of Uganda and co-chair, African Council for Religious Leaders, as well as religious leaders across Africa are expected to grace the two-day conference

It said that considering the security situation in the country and the forthcoming 2015 general elections, the conference was apt and relevant.

The conference themed: “Interfaith Understanding and Cooperation for Responsible Politics”, would hold a symposium on religious extremism in Nigeria.

The interfaith initiative for peace is co-founded by the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammad Abubakar III and John Cardinal Onaiyekan, the Catholic Archbishop of Abuja.

It is a national platform for interfaith dialogue among Muslim and Christian clerics, professionals and leaders of thought for the fostering of peaceful co-existence, religious harmony and development in the country.

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Adeboye Bans Delegates From Ebola-Hit Countries http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/08/06/adeboye-bans-delegates-from-ebola-hit-countries/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/08/06/adeboye-bans-delegates-from-ebola-hit-countries/#comments Wed, 06 Aug 2014 13:10:26 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=205772 Kazeem Ugbodaga

The General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, RCCG, Pastor Enoch Adeboye, has banned delegates from Ebola-hit countries such as Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, from attending the ongoing church’s National Convention.

•Pastor Adeboye

•Pastor Adeboye

Adeboye took the decision to prevent the spread of Ebola Virus Disease, EVD, in Nigeria.

Officials of the Federal and Lagos State governments had met with the RCCG leader to adopt precautionary measures by not allowing people from the infected countries to come to the church’s convention, which usually attracts thousands of participants.

 At the ongoing RCCG convention, no delegate from the Ebola-infected countries showed up as they were not allowed.

Also speaking at the church’s ministers ‘conference, Adeboye told the pastors that all those who fasted for 100 days the last time should have no fear of Ebola as the disease would not get to them.

 He warned his pastors to avoid laying hands on anybody they suspected have full blown Ebola as they might contract the disease.

At the ongoing convention on Monday, Adeboye charged his members to embrace the habit of cleanliness, praying that the disease would not get to the country full blown and also at the convention ground.

However, the RCCG said the church has recorded tremendous growth in Nigeria in the last few years, as several parishes had been created and several souls won for Christ through the propagation of the gospel.

“There has been tremendous growth in Nigeria in 2012/2013, with 28,582 parishes planted, while in 2013/2014, about 32,036 parishes were planted. In the area of salvation, in 2012/2013, about 332,800 souls were won. In 2013/2014, about 507,472 souls were saved, consequently.

“Six new regions were created in Nigeria taking the total region to 24. 28 new provinces have been created. The foreign outposts have been restructured. We are in 46 nations in Europe and has been divided into three smaller regions with headquarters in Holland, Spain and Sweden,” said a statement from the church.

The statement added that North America has been divided into two, with Canada having one region and the United States of America having five regions, adding that the United Kingdom has been divided into four regions- Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and England, while Asia/Middle East has been divided into Malaysia and United Arab Emirates.

Also, at the ongoing convention, the RCCG ordained 2,435 Assistant Pastors to assist the full pastors in the work of propagating the gospel, while 1,125 full pastors were also ordained.

The church also ordained 8,622 deacons and deaconesses at the convention. There is a total of 12,182 full pastors, assistant pastors, deacons and deaconesses now in the church.

Meanwhile, Pastor Adeboye has reieterated that anyone who divorces his or her spouse to remarry will never head any parish in the church.

He restated this at the just concluded Ministers’ Conference of the church.

The conference, which is the gathering of all the ordained men of God of the church from all over the world, usually precedes the Convention of the church.

He said: “Marriage signifies the symbolic relationship between the church and Jesus Christ,” and so the RCCG will not subscribe to divorce no matter what.”

He went further to say that if anybody divorces his or her spouse, the moment the fellow can wait till the divorced partner dies or till he or she meets with the Lord in that single state, there is no problem. He said if anybody comes to tell him that he/she has prayed to God and God gives him/her permission to be separated with his/her spouse, he said, “no problem.”

“Will the fellow be thrown out of the church when he/she remarries?” he asked rhetorically.

 “No, you won’t be thrown out of the church but you won’t be allowed to head a parish so as not to give wrong impression to the congregation.

 “Will I go to hell if I remarry?” he asked again. “The key to heaven is not in my hand.”

He said all what the fellow needs to do is to remind Jesus that he/she had already discussed the matter with Him (Jesus) and that He (Jesus) permitted him/her to go ahead, to which Jesus may reply: “Oh I see.”

A prominent pastor of the church, Itua Ighodalo, a few years ago quit the church after he divorced his first wife, Lucy-Ann Summer, and married Ibidunni Ajayi on 26 February, 2007.

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