Abuja IDPs: 20 million Displaced Christians Can’t Vote, Says CAN

Over 700 Internally Displaced Persons living at their camp in New Kunchingoro, have protested against their neglect by the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA)  saying they now rely on charity from churches and individuals for survival.

2014: Worst Christian Persecution in Over 20 Years

Last year saw the highest level of persecution of Christians the world has seen since the fall of the Soviet Union, according to a report by a Christian persecution watchdog group released Wednesday.

"Islam is Antagonizing the Entire World" - Egyptian President

Speaking before Al-Azhar and the Awqaf Ministry on New Year’s Day, 2015, in connection to Prophet Muhammad’s upcoming birthday, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, a vocal supporter for a renewed vision of Islam, made what must be his most forceful and impassioned plea to date on the subject.

Boko Haram Murders 100 Non-Muslims

Boko Haram Releases Video of Mass Execution of 

Non-Muslims

 

Update: Video can now be found here

 

Militants Filmed Massacre of Around 100 Defenseless Non-Muslims with AK-47s from Point-Blank Range 

 

12/22/2014 Nigeria (International Christian Concern) - Late Saturday evening, international journalists received a video from members of the Boko Haram insurgency depicting the execution of around 100 non-Muslims in a dormitory-style hall reportedly located in Bama, a remote town in northeast Nigeria. A previous video released by the insurgency declaring the establishment of its Islamic caliphate depicted the execution of dozens of civilians laid face-down in a mass grave dug in former Christian stronghold, Gwoza. Saturday's release went above and beyond previous Boko Haram productions, paralleling the barbarism of videos issued by the Islamic State in Iraq. The number of dead remains unconfirmed as additional reports from Bama (only 40 miles north of Gwoza) continue to make their way to international press outlets.

Set to music, the 11-minute video depicts Boko Haram militants, some dressed in camouflage, others in flannel and jeans, loading fresh magazines into AK-47s before filing into a long, dormitory-style hall filled with "infidels" (or non-Muslims) curled against one another on the floor. Upon entering, some of the men depicted begin to indiscriminately shoot at the bodies covering the floor before targeting those that move in response to the gunfire. The victims' cries, heard between the gunshots, are drowned out by young men chanting, "Allahu Akbar" (or "Allah is Great") while peering in on the massacre through the hall's barred windows.

While it remains unclear how many of the victims were professed Christians, the film's speaker states, "We have made sure the floor of this hall is turned red with blood, and this is how it is going to be in all future attacks and arrests of infidels (or non-Muslims)." The speaker continued, saying, "From now, killing, slaughtering, destruction and bombing will be our religious duty anywhere we invade."

The mass execution follows the insurgency's abduction of an estimated 185 women and children following the massacre of dozens of villagers in Gumsuri village on December 14. Eyewitnesses of the attack reported 33 villagers killed by Boko Haram militants shouting, "Allahu Akbar." News of the attack and mass kidnapping was released to international press Thursday after survivors made the several-day journey to Maiduguri, the capital of Borno, Nigeria's most northeastern state and birthplace to the Boko Haram insurgency.

Established in the 1990s as a peaceful separatist movement by Mohammed Yousef, Jama'tu Ahlis Sunna Lidda'awati wal-Jihad (or "People Committed to the Propagation of the Prophet's Teaching and Jihad"), commonly referred to as Boko Haram, became a radicalized and violent Sunni Jihadi insurgency in 2009 when Abubakar Shekau assumed leadership.

A video released by the insurgency earlier this year depicted Shekau-thought to have been killed by Nigerian security forces last year-promising to sell more than 270 mostly Christian schoolgirls abducted by Boko Haram militants in April "on the market." More than eight months following their abduction, 220 girls remain missing and are suspected of having been forcibly converted to Islam and sold into lifetimes of sexual and domestic slavery as child brides to their militant captors for as little as $12 USD.

Open Doors' World Watch List ranked Nigeria the most dangerous country in the world for Christians to reside in 2013. Since its radicalization in 2009, Nigerian Christians have been all but eradicated from the country's northeast by Boko Haram. Responsible for the deaths of more than 14,000 Nigerians since 2009, Boko Haram has single handedly killed an estimated 1,800 Christians this year alone.

ICC's Regional Manager for Africa, Cameron Thomas, said, "Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families of the victims of this inexcusable atrocity. Militants, armed with AK-47s and a perverted theology of violence and bloodshed, have decimated community after community on their rampage across Nigeria's northeast. Boko Haram has laid waste to the Nigerian church, slaughtering believers for their refusal to convert to Islam, abducting and enslaving schoolgirls for their Christian faith, and murdering pastors for preaching the Good News of Jesus Christ. The insurgency can and must be eliminated before its caliphate spreads, claiming innocent lives with each and every advance."

 


The speaker in the video, who said, "We have made sure the floor of this hall is turned red with blood, and this is how it is going to be in all future attacks and arrests of infidels."


A Boko Haram militant shooting one of around 100 defenseless victims slaughtered on film.  

 

You are free to disseminate this news story. We request that you reference International Christian Concern (ICC) and include our web address, www.persecution.org. ICC is a Washington D.C.-based human rights organization that exists to help persecuted Christians worldwide. ICC provides Awareness, Advocacy, and Assistance to the worldwide persecuted Church. For additional information or for an interview, contact ICC at 800-422-5441.

Fani-Kayode Writes Osinbajo - Light and Darkness Cannot Fellowship

Fani-Kayode Writes to Osinbajo – What Fellowship is there Between Light and Darkness?

A WORD FOR PROFESSOR YEMI OSINBAJO

Don't Stand in Silence – New Edition Martyrs CRY

The latest edition of Martyrs CRY! is out and can be downloaded free on this site.

The Magazine is produced by the Voice of Christian Martyrs and it details the attacks of Muslim Jihadists on Christians in northern Nigeria as well as in other parts of the world.

Press Release: Lai Mohammed is Unfair and Undemocratic

In the photograph above are Christian leaders from the North at the Press Conference including Bro. Adamu who miraculously survived a Boko Haram AK47 placed on his nose before it was fired.

VOICE OF THE CHRISTIAN MARTYRS NIGERIA


PRESS RELEASE


LAI MOHAMMED AND PASTOR BOSUN’S CD

Welcome,


In reaction to the recent newspaper reports about a letter which was credited to the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Mr. Lai Mohammed as the spokesperson for a political party has been making disparaging remarks about Pastor Bosun and a message that the pastor delivered to a Christian community.

We wish to express our dissatisfaction about the purported statements by Mr. Lai Mohammed which we consider misleading, unfair, and undemocratic. We condemn it as it is aimed at distracting well meaning Nigerians from the truth that would help build our nation. Serious issues that affect Nigeria were revealed in the message and the Pastor has the right to express his apprehension about issues that affect Christianity, more so, considering the lethal persecution of Christians in the northern parts of the country. Christians needs no instructions from Lai Mohammed on how reasonable people should cast their votes. Nigeria of today is supposed to be a democratic state that guarantees freedom of expression, free thinking and belief, a free country where people have the right to say YES to their fellow men or even No to God. If the All Progressive Congress is truly a democratic party, it should never be afraid of an individual’s opinion. Nobody stops the movement of the winds.
The Nigerian constitution guarantees every citizens right to believe what they want to belief in and join any political party of their choice, nobody should be hunted or persecuted because of what they belief in or not.

Mr. Lai Mohammed is not the spokesperson of Pastor Adeboye and he does not have the right to come out and tell Christians what Pastor Adeboye has to say about the free speech of Pastor Bosun Emmanuel. With due respect to Pastor Adeboye, I believe he has a platform where he addresses the members of his denomination. Mr. Lai should steer clear of Christian affairs. If Pastor Adeboye wants to pass instructions to members of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Mr. Lai Mohammed should not be the messenger.
We have enough of Christian blood being shed on daily basis across the Northern Nigeria. We respect Pastor Adeboye, a profound Christian leader, whose messages have changed many lives and brought hope to millions of people around the world. Lai statement on statements credited to Pastor Adeboye does not hold in a free country where all men stands for freedom of conscience and justice. However, we want to state that Nigerian Christians are citizens of Nigeria just like their Muslim counterparts. Nobody should use partisan politics to divide the body of Christ that has suffered so much in this country. If Lai Mohammed wants Christians to vote for his political party then, APC should go back to its drawing board and create a proper balance in the party. Chief Olusegun Obasanjo and many other reasonable and well meaning Nigerians have suggested this. The party should create a political platform that takes into consideration all the various groups in the nation rather than drag the church into its political mud.
Currently in the South West, 100% of APC governors are Muslims. All the governors of APC in Yorubaland are Muslims. So, how does Mr. Lai Mohammed want such a party to be described? Is that an all inclusive party or what is it?
How does Mr. Lai Mohammed want to describe a party which at its inception, nearly all its national principal officers belong to only one religion? Is that a balanced and all inclusive party? On the alleged insinuation that Pastor Bosun’s message is capable of inciting the Christians against Muslims, Mr. Lai Mohammed is being economical with the truth. On the contrary, he is the person seeking to incite Muslims against the Christians. We suggest that he should go and listen again to the message. If the CD was meant to incite anybody, Nigerian Christians should have been on the streets by now. That message was calling Christians to prayers and revival of the church.
Worldwide, the church advocates peace and not war. We also acknowledge that there are moderate Muslims, particularly in the South West, who are willing to practice their religion and allow other people freedom of religious belief. On the contrary, it is the Islamic fundamentalists that have been on rampage in Syria, Iraq, Kenya, Sudan, Somalia, and in northern Nigeria. These are the group of people cutting off people’s heads, amputating hands, beheading little children, wiping out entire families and carrying out genocide and using destructive weapons to cause sorrow and unimaginable hardship for peace loving people. It is the Islamic extremists that are responsible for the insecurity in the nation and they are the cause of the apprehension.
I challenge Lai to rise as a good Muslim, including his party, to put an end to this carnage ravaging the Nigerian nation, rather than raising issues with a godly pastor like Bosun Emmanuel, whom I know can never be purchased to be mischievous.
Christian and Moslem leaders have equal right to contest or follow political parties of their choice as equal citizen of Nigeria. If Christians are concerned about the structure of any political party, they have the right to raise the apprehension.
Again, I will emphasize, Pastor Bosun cannot be said to be wrong in his assessment of APC, because a former president, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, also recently cautioned APC about its strong Islamic posture. APC and Lai Mohammed should go and take corrective measures and reassure Nigerians that they are not seeking to creative a party for the Islamic Brotherhood in Nigeria. Nigeria is a multi-religious and multi-cultural nation. Every serious minded political party must strive to reflect the various diversities in the nation if it wants a broad based support.


CHIBOK GIRLS 
More than 200 girls abducted from Chibok are still in captivity and all our leaders are not doing enough to secure their freedom. This is condemnable around the world. We join the world to condemn this unpatriotic inaction too. Our leaders should stop creating state of chaos to advance their religious and political agenda. We have no other country to call our own than Nigeria. The Government and the oppositions must please wake up and act NOW. Those canvassing for truce with terrorists must equally be terrorists. Weapons worth millions of Naira were moved to the North East, but are now captured by the Boko Haram. If Mubi cannot be protected, nowhere in the North is protected.


OUR CONCERN NOW
Several cities of the North East are largely populated by Christians, Michika with 96% Christians, Gwoza with 75% Christians, Bama with 45 per cent Christians, Madagali with 71% Christians.

These and several other cities of the North East have been captured by the insurgents. Recently, Mubi has been captured and thousands of Christians are on the run, while many have been beheaded and thousands are still missing without any trace.
Christians are being used as human shield by the Boko Haram. Innocent women are abducted while young men are forcefully recruited to join the insurgents. Any Christian that refuses to renounce Christ is beheaded. The situation is so dire that those who escaped to the hills were eating grass due to lack of food. In addition to the lack of food, there has been cholera breakout among the refugees that killed many children.
Please consider the following distressing figures:
On 26th Oct, 2014, Boko Haram abducted 30 men from Mafa to marry the Chibok girls in Sambisa forest.
On 17th Oct, 2014, they took 22 Christians in Gwoza and forced them to take arms.
On 23th Oct 2014, they abducted 26 men and 30 women and took them to Sambisa.
On 25th Oct 2014 Christians that ran to the hills were pursued and slaughtered.
Many Christians have been kidnapped by Boko Haram and were marked with Boko Haram tattoos which make them vulnerable and potrays them as members of the insurgents. Anyone found with this tattoo on the body by Nigerian or Cameroonian military can be arrested or killed immediately.
The nation of Cameroun is populated by 21.7 million people, approximately the size of Lagos state. They are able to keep and protect their borders. Nigerian Leaders must rise above religious and ethnic animosity and prevent this nation from being torn apart.


THE NEED OF THE PERSECUTED CHURCH NOW
While we must appreciate the contribution of the President of CAN, Pastor Oritsejafor, the Anglican Communion (The Burden Bearers), Victoria Christian Fellowship Church, Lekki, TREM, and various other Christian bodies who are helping the children and families of Martyrs in Nigeria, we are asking the Church leaders, to please stand up to save lives now. Our mission is on ground in Yola providing foods and medicals to brothers and sisters who need our help now.
Our gratitude goes to Oyedepo foundation for granting free university education to two of the children of the martyrs. We ask other Christian universities to help these children that lost one or both parents due to the persecution of Christians in northern Nigeria.


Blessings


Isaac O. N Wusu
Director
Voice of the Christian Martyrs Nigeria

5th Nov. 2014

2014 International Day of Prayer: Don't Stand in Silence

Don’t Stand in Silence

The 2014 International Day of Prayer for the persecuted Christians worldwide shall take place on Sunday 9th November, 2014. The nation of Syria has been adopted for the 2014 global prayers for persecuted Christians.

It would be recalled that Nigeria was adopted for the 2013 International Day of Prayer with the account of Christians massacred in Deeper Life Bible Church, Gombe, as the main feature. The 5 minute video, VICTORIA, was produced to commemorate the 2013 global prayers.

On Sunday 9th November, 2014, all Christian assemblies worldwide are expected to pray for persecuted Christians with particular emphases on Christians in Syria. Attention should also be focused on Nigerian Christians in the northern parts of the nation.

Please ensure that this information is brought to the attention of every church leader so that global supplication and intercession can rise to heaven against the forces of Satan afflicting believers in Jesus Christ.

Don’t Stand in Silence.

 

Prayer Alert: 2 Years On, Remembering Pastor Saeed Abedini

26 September 2014 marked the 2nd year anniversary of pastor Saeed Abedini’s imprisonment for his faith in Iran.

During a visit to Tehran, on 28 July 2012, pastor Abedini, 34, was detained by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard and placed under house arrest for his Christian faith.

On 26 September 2012, Revolutionary Guard members raided pastor Abedini’s parent’s home and took him to an unknown location. 4 days later, pastor Abedini’s family was informed that he was in solitary confinement in the notorious Evin prison in Iran.

On 26 January 2013, pastor Abedini was handed an 8-year prison sentence for evangelizing and attempting to sway Iranian youth away from Islam.

“We are praying for a miracle. My hope is that, as thousands gather together on September 26, our governments and leaders will be reminded of the importance of religious freedom for all and continue to pressure Iran to secure Saeed’s release,” said Naghmeh Abedini, the pastor’s wife in a media report.

“The kids and I are longing to see Saeed returned home safely to us. The kids have been suffering for too long. Our family is ready. It is time,” she added.

Prayer points:

  •          Pray for pastor Abedini’s release from prison;
  •          Pray for God’s protection over him;
  •          Pray for Jesus’ comforting presence upon pastor Abedini’s wife, Naghmeh, and their children;
  •          Pray for the release of all other Christians detained for their faith in Iran.

 

Pastor In Bhutan Sentenced To Prison For Accepting Funds For Ministry

THIMPHU, Bhutan (Morning Star News) – A court in Bhutan today sentenced pastor Tandin Wangyal to three years, 11 months in prison for receiving funds for ministry activities from a Christian organization.

The verdict from the court in Dorokha, Samtse District asserts the pastor received US$11,864 in funding from a foreign Christian organization to conduct trainings and spread Christianity in the Buddhist country, sources said.

Another pastor, M.B. Thapa (known as Lobzang) was sentenced to two years and four months for taking Wangyal to a village for a gathering for which he had not obtained prior permission, but he was entitled to pay a fine of US$1,678 “in lieu” of prison that enabled him to remain free.

Wangyal was convicted under Article 71 of the Civil Society Organization Act of Bhutan, which outlaws raising funds for activities “in contravention of the laws of the country” and without prior permission. The pastors were arrested in Khapdani village, Dorokha area in Samtse District, on March 5.

The pastor has 10 days to appeal, but in comments to Morning Star News hours before he was detained last night (Sept. 9), Wangyal said he had already filed an appeal in Samtse District Court and was hoping for bail.

“My case now dates back to the past records and findings on my laptop,” Wangyal.  “I do not agree to the charges.”

Wangyal and his wife have three sons, ages 8, 5 and 2.

“I am worried about my wife and my three little sons,” he said. “Please pray for me and my family.”

The two pastors were apprehended after they had reached Khapdani village in Dorokha to attend a foundation-laying ceremony. The police confiscated Wangyal’s laptop hard disk, mobile phone and a movie projector.

Before winning release on bail on April 22, the two pastors were detained for 49 days without formal charges. The evening of March 4, they had spoken at the ground-breaking ceremony for a new house at the invitation of another Christian in Khapdani. They were planning to hold a three-day seminar in the village the next day that included screening of a film, but as they were trying to transport a child who was ill to a hospital, police arrested them.

The Civil Society Organization Act puts restrictions on collections, stipulating that “No person shall collect or ask for any contribution or charity to aid or help any activity, which is in contravention with the laws of the Country, and a collection in a public place must not be conducted unless the promoters of the collection hold a public collections certificate from the Authority and the collection is conducted in accordance with this Act.”

At the United Nations Human Rights Council’s recent Universal Periodic Review of the Buddhist nation in Geneva, Switzerland, the United States and other nations urged the tiny kingdom to protect religious freedom by allowing people to freely practice their faith and by granting all religious groups equal opportunity to obtain legal status.

Among other international rights groups submitting reports, U.S.-based Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) called on Bhutan to address various religious freedom concerns. ADF noted that Bhutan has enacted several laws restricting fundamental rights of its citizens, freedom of association and freedom of religion and belief of individuals.

Wangyal had refuted Home and Cultural Affairs Minister Damcho Dorji’s statement to Business Bhutan newspaper that religion was not a factor in the arrests, saying, “All this time they have denied that it was a faith-based arrest, but everything since day one has revolved around faith.”

Thapa (Lobzang) said he was grieving for his friend and colleague.

“I was sentenced to less than three years, which was bailable,” he told Morning Star News. “I paid the money against the prison term and will return home tomorrow.”

Christians are generally allowed to meet in homes or private halls to worship but face obstacles and persecution in trying to do so. Bhutan has numerous Buddhist monasteries and a few Hindu temples, but no church building.

The miniscule Christian community remained underground until 2008. Bhutan transitioned to a constitutional democratic monarchy in 2008 after a century of absolute monarchy.

Source: Morning Star News

For more information, please visit: http://idop.org/en/

CAN Declares 17-19 Oct For National Repentance and Re-dedication

NATIONAL REPENTANCE AND RE-DEDICATION:

CAN DECLARES 3 DAY PRAYER AND FASTING - 17TH – 19TH OCT.

The National Executive Committee (NEC) of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), on Monday 29th September, 2014, passed a resolution that Christians in Nigeria should observe 3 days of fasting and prayer for the church and for the nation from Friday 17th – Sunday 19th October.

Earlier, the South West Zone of CAN had chosen 26th October as the day of the National Repentance. However, with the directive from NEC, both positions have been harmonized and the day of repentance and national re-dedication shall take place nationwide from 17th – 19th October.

The President of CAN, his eminence, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor called on all Christians to unite at this critical period in the life of the Nigerian church and the nation and corporately seek the face of God for forgiveness and divine intervention.

In his opening remarks at the meeting, the President of CAN remarked that “as we labor for the Lord and make our way into the kingdom of God, we must constantly bear in mind that the enemy of our souls is perpetually at work seeking to ‘steal, kill and destroy’. The most common tactic of the enemy is to ‘smite the shepherd’ and scatter the sheep. Whenever the enemy launches this attack on any shepherd, experience has shown that the main targets are the sheep.”

On the day of National Repentance, Christian assemblies are expected to focus on prayers of confession for the sins of the nation as well as transgressions that are in the church. Paramount among the short comings of the church is the challenge posed by disunity and the attitude of ministry competition. A message of repentance based on 2 Chro. 7: 14 should be preached in all the churches on the Sunday  of  the National Repentance and National Re-dedication. Subsequently, prayers should be offered to God for mercy and forgiveness for the church and the nation.

Other areas of prayer focus include the persecution of Christians in the North, insurgency in the nation, the threat posed by Jihadists to the church and the nation, the forth coming general elections, good governance in the land and so on.

Christians are called upon to prayerfully establish in Nigeria, the four pillars of the throne of God. These are: righteousness, justice, mercy, and truth.

All the 5 blocs of CAN are expected to participate in the prayer and fasting program. No Christian assembly is exempted.

During the NEC meeting, the leaders of the church reinstated their support and solidarity for the President of CAN, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, as well as their commitment to a united and cohesive national church.

All enquiries should be directed to the General Secretary, CAN, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Catholic Church Refute Denouncing President Of CAN

RE: “CATHOLIC BISHOP CHIDES ORITSEJAFOR”: A MISREPRESENTATION OF ARCHBISHOP IGNATIUS AYAU KAIGAMA

Our attention has been drawn to the reports in some online  editions of some newspapers such as the Daily Post, Daily Trust,  New Telegraph and the Guardian  with misleading headlines, posted  on Thursday 25th September 2014,  and suggesting that Most Rev. Ignatius Ayau Kaigama, the President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) accused Pastor Ayo Ortistejafor of denting the image of the Christian Association  of Nigeria over the case of the  jet that was found with $9.3milion  allegedly owned by the CAN President.

The said report is not only false and malicious but a calculated attempt to further sow the seed of disharmony between Catholics and the leadership of CAN.
While we disassociate ourselves from the newspaper reports, it is important to put the records in the right perspective.

Most Rev. Ignatius Kaigama granted an interview with the Hausa BBC Service in Kaduna in which he condemned money laundering.  He said  that the relevant authorities  in Nigeria ought to investigate  the issue of the $9.3million arms deals saga dispassionately and ensure that those found guilty of money laundering be punished according to the provision of the existing law of our land against money laundering. He never, in the said interview, cast any aspersion on the person of Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, the President of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN).
Reporters who monitored the said interview in Hausa BBC Service totally misrepresented the Archbishop by misquoting him. Knowing the person of Archbishop Kaigama as a man who is committed to ecumenism and inter-religious dialogue, there is no way he can make such an inflammatory statement against the leadership of CAN which is capable of causing dissections among the CAN family.
It was amazing to read such sensational headlines as ‘Ayo Oritsejafor is disgracing CAN’ - Catholic Bishops of Nigeria’, ‘Oritsejafor has dragged Christianity to the mud - Bishop Kaigama’, ‘Bishop blasts Oritsejafor for playing politics with CAN’. Archbishop Kaigama was also quoted as saying Catholic Bishops had been watching with “sadness how Oritsejafor had been hobnobbing with the Presidency for long. It is not proper, the guilty must be punished. It is not acceptable for a Christian leader to be seen always with the President. We in the Catholic have always picked holes in Oritsejafor’s style of leadership in CAN and we wanted to stop attending CAN meetings at the national level”. This is unfortunate, inciteful, unpatriotic and uncharitable. It looks like some people have problems with the person of Pastor Oritsejafor and wanted as the saying goes ‘to borrow the mouth of Archbishop Kaigama to chop their onions’. It appears that some people are hell-bent on setting the Catholic Church against the rest of CAN. Some want to use unfortunate situations to promote their fortunes. Yes the Catholic Bishops did in the past make their observations about how CAN could be run better not with

the intention to discredit the body but so that things could be corrected fraternally, but there were screaming headlines which tended to put the Catholic Church in negative light. This is happening again.  All that Archbishop Kaigama said about the 9.3m saga was that the matter should be investigated in depth to avoid insinuations, psychological projections and unhealthy rumours and gossips. A transcription of his interview will reveal that the words attributed to him were a figment of somebody’s imagination. He said nothing about Pastor Ayo hobnobbing with Mr President or dragging CAN to the mud; neither did he mention the pastor’s name or Mr. President. Pastor Oritsejafor has in the mean time very clearly and convincingly explained his own side of the story in a phone conversation with Archbishop Kaigama and Pastor Oritsejafor is to be presumed innocent unless found otherwise.

We are indeed embarrassed at the monumental scale of misrepresentations in the said newspaper reports. What we expect from Journalists is genuine reports based on truth and facts, which ought to promote public trust and confidence.  A hall mark of responsible journalism is that reporters ought to cross-check their facts before publishing them whereas reports based on falsehood, rumours and preconceived ideas such as this, are not only malicious but a calculated attempt to strain the good relationship between the Catholic Church and the leadership of CAN.
There is a poison of deliberate misinformation in the air, more deadly than the Ebola virus disease. This may be a symptom of how forthcoming political events may be handled in the media. Some persons want to at all cost see the North and the South, Christians and Muslims fight.

In God’s name it shall not come to be. Our prayer is that our nation shall remain one and indivisible. No matter how hard our detractors may try, they will not succeed. As leaders of the Catholic Church we shall continue to be objective in our assessment of the situation in the country and endeavour to edify by our comments and actions and not to destroy. This is because we believe that we are one people and one nation.

God bless our beloved country Nigeria.

Rev. Fr. Chris Anyanwu,
Director (Social Communications Directorate),
Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria.

September 26, 2014

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