Be prepared to Christianise Nigeria
-Cardinal Onaiyekan tells Christians
By Tony Agbugba
The Catholic Archbishop of Abuja, John Cardinal Onaiyekan has urged Christians to commence the Christianization of Nigeria through their positive words and actions rather than bemoaning the alleged plot by some to Islamise the country.
Speaking at the maiden Lumen Christi TV annual lecture held last week in Lagos, Cardinal Onaiyekan also cautioned politicians and other powerful men in the society to desist from forcing their religion on Nigerians.
Cardinal Onaiyekan said the recent comments made by former president Olusegun Obasanjo on alleged on-going efforts by some to forcefully Islamize the country should not be discarded, considering the daily killings of innocent citizens and raids on places of worship across the country by suspected terrorists.
While noting that it was God’s will for the adherents of the two big religions – Christians and Muslims to live peacefully together, he equally stressed that the nation’s constitution was very clear on the provision for freedom of worship or for one to change one’s religion without any form of molestation.
“It is better to live in peace, so I wonder why some people are making it impossible for Christians to worship God peacefully, particularly in the Northern part of the country. It is unfortunate because it is clear that what we are experiencing is a premeditated effort by some people to force their religion on others. This is very sad and unacceptable. However, rather than continue to bemoan their fate, I want to challenge Christians to also begin to Christianize the country through their positive words and actions. I have no problem with Muslims trying to Islamize others, provided it is done peacefully. Christians should also do same peacefully. We need a level playing ground for adherents of the two religions to co-habit peacefully.
Cardinal Onaiyekan, while stressing that the government has a responsibility to ensure the freedom of religion for every citizen, called on Christians and Muslims to work together to live peacefully and promote freedom of worship at all levels
Earlier, in his presentation on the topic, “The New Evangelization and Social Communications in the Church,” the Cardinal reminded the hierarchy of the Church in Nigeria that evangelization was all about communications and challenged them to do more in ensuring that it utilizes all the tools of modern communication at its disposal to propagate Christ to end of the world.
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