Sunday, 24th September 2023

Pope urges global solidarity, CAN, clerics assure Nigerians of victory over COVID-19

By Rotimi Agboluaje (Ibadan), Victor Gbonegun, Isaac Taiwo and Gbenga Akinfenwa (Lagos)
13 April 2020   |   3:35 am
Head of the Catholic Church, Pope Francis yesterday canvassed global solidarity to fight the coronavirus crisis in his Easter message read at St Peter’s Basilica, where worshippers were absent.

Head of the Catholic Church, Pope Francis yesterday canvassed global solidarity to fight the coronavirus crisis in his Easter message read at St Peter’s Basilica, where worshippers were absent.

In his Urbi et Orbi to the Vatican City and the world held behind closed doors amid lockdown in Italy, he said, “This year’s “Easter of Solitude” message should be a contagion of hope, urging political leaders to work for the common good, to help people live through the crisis and eventually resume their normal lives.

“This is not a time for indifference. The whole world is suffering and needs to be united. Indifference, self-centredness, division and forgetfulness are not words we want to hear at this time. We want to ban these words forever,” he stated

Also, President of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Rev. Supo Ayokunle, urged Christians not to congregate during Easter celebration to guide against the spread of coronavirus.

Ayokunle, who gave the advice during a television live programme in Ibadan, Oyo State, however, noted that fellowship with the brethren was very important.

He said, “I tag this year’s Easter celebration an unusual leap Easter. What is happening is beyond our control because COVID-19 is a rude virus. It is no respecter of anybody whether young or old, wise or foolish, black or white.

“It doesn’t even respect how advanced your nation is. Both the developed and developing nations are creeping and cringing under the pandemic.” He stressed that although God has not promised to destroy the world with disease, COVOD-19 could cause havoc in families beyond imagination.

Also, General Superintendent, Deeper Christian Life Ministry, Pastor William Folorunsho Kumuyi in his Easter message yesterday, enjoined Christians to leverage on the victory of the resurrection of Jesus Christ to be vigilant in order to overcome all trials and temptations.

Kumuyi, who called on Nigerians to embrace the love of God, the Father unto mankind that made Him to give us His only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ to die in our stead on the cruel cross after suffering such excruciating punishment and key into the victory of His resurrection and repent.

Besides, General Overseer, Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), Pastor Enoch Adeboye, has assured Nigerians that the pandemic currently ravaging the country and the entire world would soon end

Adeboye, who gave the assurance in a televised Easter Sunday Service message titled, “A New Beginning,” said God was alive and in control of what the country was currently going through.

He said, “God is not dead, He is alive and He is in control. If you are in doubt, the past situations will attest to this. We should remain at our guards because it will be unwise to relax now.

“We will be out soon and it will not be too long. Someone said it will end in March, another person said it will end after seven days of rain, but God told me that it will not end until the whole world goes on compulsory holiday.”

Meanwhile, Bishop of Lagos, Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion), Rev. Humphrey Olumakaiye assured Nigerians that just as Jesus Christ had victory over death at resurrection, so will Nigerians celebrate victory over COVID-19.

“We are celebrating the triumph of good over evil, of love over hate and life over death. Jesus has risen, telling us God is the power of life in the midst of much brokenness and sorrow in the world,” he said.

On his part, Bishop Olusola Odedeji of the Anglican Diocese of Lagos West has urged Nigerians to be of good courage even as they confront the COVID-19 pandemic. In his Easter message delivered online yesterday, he assured members of the Church and all Nigerians that the storm will soon be over.

He said, “Easter is about the Lord’s resurrection. It is a message of hope, life, grace and victory. It is particularly appropriate for a time like this when the coronavirus is sweeping through the entire world; when death us literally walking in the world; when able bodied men and women are being locked in their homes in many countries, including Nigeria.”