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Religious leaders urge citizens to reflect on Christ’s crucifixion

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National President of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) Rev. Samson Ayokunle

• Easter makes the Christian faith stronger, says Ayokunle
• Gombe CAN seeks prayer for economic stability

As the Lenten period ends this week with the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, religious leaders in the country have enjoined Christians to observe today as a time of penitence.

In goodwill messages to mark Easter celebration, the Director of Social Communications, Catholic Archdiocese of Lagos, the Very Rev. Monsignor, Gabriel Osu and the Dean Emeritus, Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) and Bishop of Lagos, The Most Rev. (Dr.) Ephraim Adebola Ademowo urge Christians to reflect on the suffering of Christ and His death on the cross.

Also, the President of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Rev. (Dr.) Samson Olasupo A. Ayokunle, General Overseer, Charismatic Renewal Ministries, Owerri, Imo State, Dr. Cosmas Ilechukwu, Catholic Bishop of Oyo Diocese, Bishop Emmanuel Badejo, President, Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN), Rev. (Dr.) Felix Omobude and Prelate, Methodist Church, Nigeria, His Eminence, Dr. Chukwuemeka Samuel Uche all send goodwill messages to Nigerians on Easter.

Rev. Ayokunle said the story of Easter makes the Christian faith stronger. The cleric called on Nigerian leaders to shun greed, corruption and mismanagement of the nation’s wealth.

The Catholic Bishop of Oyo Diocese, Bishop Badejo urged Christians not to despair, no matter what they are passing through. While Rev. Omobude encouraged Nigerians to have faith in God, adding that whatever difficulty the nation may be facing today, it would certainly be over.

The Prelate, Methodist Church, Nigeria, Dr. Uche, used the occasion to remind political office holders of the need to think more about the electorate. “Those enjoying fat salaries among the leaders should be able to sacrifice by cutting down on their income to bring succour to the less privileged,” he counseled.

Osu urged the followers of Christ to use the period to reflect on how to alleviate hardship and poverty worldwide, particularly in northeast Nigeria, Syria and the Middle East where ISIS has killed thousands of people.

Ademowo describes Good Friday as a historic day because it brought freedom and salvation to mankind. He urged Christians and all Nigerians to shun corruption, kidnapping, stealing, violence and other vices.

The Catholic Archbishop of Lagos, Alfred Adewale Martins enjoined Christians, especially priests to live according the precepts of Christ. He stated this yesterday at the Holy Cross Cathedral in Lagos to mark the 2017 Chrism mass celebration where the feast of priesthood was celebrated.

Speaking on the killing of Christians by herdsmen, he advised government to improve efforts to secure lives and property across the country. In Gombe, the state chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has asked Christians to pray for stability of the country’s economy and good health for President Muhammadu Buhari.

The state Chairman of CAN, Rev. Isah Uba, made the call yesterday while speaking with reporters on the Easter celebration. “I call on Christians to use this period to pray for the stability of the country’s economy and sustainability of peace as well as good health for President Buhari,” Uba said.

Meanwhile, concerned about recent increase in suicide cases, the Catholic Bishop of Awka Diocese, Most Rev. Paulinus Ezeokafor, has advised Nigerians against the act. He urged them to face the challenges of life with hope.

The cleric asked the citizens to have faith and hope in God, especially at this period of economic recession. The bishop stated this in an Easter message yesterday in Awka, Anambra State. He said the challenges of life are normal and should not push anyone to take his life.


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