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The church, not government should be blamed for ills in society 


Nigerian Youth /PHOTO – Guardian Nigeria

The Bishop of the Anglican Communion, Egba (Abeokuta) Diocese, Rt. Revd. Emmanuel Adekunle, yesterday, blamed the church (body of Christ) in Nigeria for the alarming increase of ritual killings, fraud and “diabolical means” employed by youths to get rich at all cost.

The cleric, who spoke in his charge at the opening ceremony of the 15th Synod of the church in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, insisted that the church and “not the government” should be blamed for the high rate of ritual killings, especially by youths in a bid to get rich.

The theme of the Synod is, ‘The Church Ministry: Maintenance or Mission?’

According to Adekunle, the failure of the church to condemn persons of questionable sources of income had given rise to ritual killings and diabolical means of acquiring wealth by members of the public, especially Christians, reminding the audience that part of the church’s mission is to speak against the ills in society.

He stressed that the church has failed woefully in preaching against the evil in society, but instead “praise-sing the fraudulent members that would donate big amount of money towards projects in the church.”

Adekunle bemoaned that youths now engage in various ritualistic practices, such as eating of human faeces, barking as dogs, sleeping in dunghills and the recent mad rush for females’ pants, among others, noting: “We cannot pass the buck of these evil practices to the government again, but they are signs of our failure in the church, the erosion of right family virtues and degradation in society morals and values.”

The cleric, who lamented that despite the efforts of the government and the law enforcement agencies in arresting the situation, ritual killings, fraud and diabolical means of getting rich remain on the rise now more than ever before, because “they (youths) have graduated from advanced fraud into ritual and cultic acts.”

He charged both parents and churches to query the sources of income of their children instead of celebrating them, saying: “Society is no blind to wickedness and corruption around, our kings and chiefs are awarding chieftaincy titles to people of shady characters as long as they offer good money.

“The church has not been crying (preaching) against evil, but instead praise-singing the fraudulent members that would donate big amount towards the projects in the church.

“The parents and adults in our family compounds are no more particular about the sources of income of their children or what businesses they are involved in, but celebrating the kinds of house or car or affluence the wards can display.

“The awful thing in our immediate society is the mad rush of our youths for wealth, and they now employ diabolical means and fraudulent practices to achieve their caprices.”

He commended the efforts of the law enforcement agencies in curtailing the acts, charging them to double their efforts in ensuring that the acts are nipped in the bud.

He also charged President Muhammadu Buhari and other politicians, especially the newly-elected ones, to jettison self agenda and pursue God’s agenda, be particular about people-oriented projects and engage in programmes and projects that would be physically felt by the people, rather than projects “being flashed in the news on the air and in the print, but not tangible, durable and available.”

Declaring the opening ceremony, the Alake of Egbaland, Oba Adedotun Aremu Gbadebo, charged the church to wake up from its slumber, lamenting that it had forgotten its mandate, which is to preach the gospel to all nations.

“The church seems to have forgotten what we are called for. As Christians, we are to reach out to all nations, sharing the gospel and to nurture disciples to maturity and never leave them uncared for.

“The mission of the church is spreading the gospel, we should wake up from our slumber and develop the church into a mission-minded church. We must ensure that we carry on in the mission of our Lord Jesus Christ, which is soul-winning,” Alake said.

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