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CAN blasts use of church as protest venue

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The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has condemned the recent invasion of Dunamis Gospel International Centre, Abuja, by youths protesting against the government while Sunday service was ongoing.

CAN called on the concerned security agency to release the persons arrested on humanitarian grounds, while warning against further desecration of churches in the country.

In a statement in Abuja, yesterday, CAN’s General Secretary, Daramola Bade Joseph, described the actions of the youths as ungodly, unacceptable, reprehensible and provocative. He also wondered what could have led the misguided youths to turn a place of worship to a political arena.

The statement reads in part: “While we are not against any peaceful protest, the venue for such a protest shouldn’t be the church premises, a place of worship. What happened on that day was unprecedented in the history of the Church in the country.

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“Whenever we direct churches to embark upon any peaceful protest, within and outside the church premises, we always make it known publicly and we have never asked any group of people to join us.

“We wonder why the sponsors of the protesters who failed to carry the leadership of the church along before embarking on their protest are now accusing the Senior Pastor of Dunamis Church of being responsible for the detention of those who were arrested.”

CAN, meanwhile, has called on Muslims in the country to embrace the virtues of love, peace, unity, kindness and sacrifice, as exemplified by the Holy Prophet Muhammad, during and after the Eid-el-Kabir celebrations.

It also urged faithful to use the occasion to pray for Nigeria to overcome the current insecurity challenges.

In a statement, Daramola said: “We rejoice with the leadership of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) and Muslim faithful as they celebrate this year’s Eid-el-Kabir festival. We felicitate with you for being alive to witness this day and celebrate despite the menace of insecurity challenges in the country occasioned by the criminal activities of bandits, kidnappers, terrorists, killer herdsmen and other undesirable elements.”

This came as the Nigeria Inter-Religious Council (NIREC) also appealed to Muslims to use Eid-el-Kabir as a moment for sober reflection and pray to God to rid the country of evil and bring peace and tranquility.

In a statement signed by its executive secretary, Prof. Cornelius Omonokhua, NIREC said it “felicitates with the Muslim Ummah on the occasion of the Eid-el-Kabir celebration. May the Almighty Allah accept your sacrifices and bless you abundantly.”

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