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By Josef Ishu

The Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Most Rev. Matthew Hassan Kukah had on Tuesday, October 12, 2021 challenged Christians in Nigeria urging them to take “seriously” the task of bringing unity and healing to the country.

Bishop Kukah, who gave the charge when he delivered an Address at the 120th Founder’s Day Anniversary of the African Church in Lagos titled: “Firmly Rooted and Aiming Higher: Faith in a Time of Crisis”, described Nigeria as “fracturing and breaking apart by the day.”

The local ordinary of Sokoto stressed that Christians in Nigeria should scrutinize their lives and see ways in which they could have contributed to the “crises that our nation faces today.”

“Our society is fracturing and breaking apart by the day. For us Christians that Jesus Himself prayed that we all be one, working for a united and peaceful world is our mission as Christians. We have a task to take our job as healers seriously,” Bishop Kukah says.

According to Bishop Kukah, “Reconciliation is a fundamental part of the Christian faith and the reason is simple: Jesus came into a fallen world to reconcile it to God and the bridge on which we walk to that reconciliation is love. Forgiveness is built into the DNA of all Christians.”

The Bishop Chairman of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) on Dialogue and Mission noted that Christians need to re-examine themselves, their messages and the extent to which, by action or inaction, they may have contributed to the crises that our nation faces today, even as he stated further that Christians are often tempted to think they are being wronged yet it is quite possible that we are the sinners and our actions or lack of them has compounded our situation.

“Very often not sinning by acting does not mean that we are innocent. We have often taken the position of the monkey who believes that true peace lies in seeing nothing, saying nothing and doing nothing. The reasons for our doing nothing are often very complex and even innocent. The reasons could even be the measure of our being good men or women who do not wish to poke our noses into people’s businesses or we fear being misunderstood.”

He therefore cautioned Christians against laxity, saying they have a duty to speak about societal ills. “In all situations of conflict, no matter the dangers, Christians are called upon to respond with the weapons of their moral authority,” says Bishop Kukah.


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