CAN Mourns Desmond Tutu

The leadership  of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has commiserated with the government and the people of South Africa on the Home Call of a great Oracle of God, Bishop Desmond Mpilo Tutu.
We thank God for a life well spent by His great Servant who used every given opportunity to speak a potent voice against the defunct apartheid system of racial segregation and white minority rule in South Africa

Archbishop Desmond Mpilo Tutu

The Revered Bishop was a South African Anglican Bishop and theologian, known for his work as an anti-apartheid and human rights activist. He was also the first African Bishop of Johannesburg from 1985 to 1986 and then Archbishop of Cape Town from 1986 to 1996. He was also known as a theologian who sought to fuse the Black Theology with African Theology.
We recalled with nostalgia when from 1978 to 1985, Tutu was the General Secretary of the South African Council of Churches. That was when he emerged as one of the most prominent opponents of South Africa’s apartheid system of racial segregation and white minority rule. Although an activist, yet he was an advocate of non-violent protest and foreign economic pressure to bring about universal suffrage. In 1985, he became Bishop of Johannesburg and in 1986 the Archbishop of Cape Town, the most senior position in southern Africa’s Anglican hierarchy. In this position, he emphasized a consensus-building model of leadership and oversaw the introduction of female priests.
 


Tutu played prominent roles that led to the release of the foremost anti-apartheid activist Nelson Mandela from prison in 1990 and they both led the negotiations that ended apartheid and introduce multi-racial democracy. After the 1994 general election resulted in a coalition government headed by Mandela, Tutu was appointed the chairman of the historic Truth and Reconciliation Commission to investigate past human rights abuses committed by both pro and anti-apartheid groups. This Commission was used to heal all the wounds of apartheid inflicted on both the Whites and the Blacks. Tutu will always be remembered for his strong support of Palestinians in the Israeli–Palestinian conflict especially his strong belief in Israel’s right to exist. His strong criticism against the  perceived anti-people policies under the South African Presidents of Thabo Mbeki and Jacob Zuma further made him a respected voice of the voiceless.
 


Our hearts go to his immediate family, the South African Churches and the common man of that country who saw him as their advocate and protector. May God console and comfort them all in Jesus’ Name.
 
Signed
His Eminence, Rev Dr Samson Ayokunle, the President, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN).

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25TH DECEMBER EXISTED AS ‘CHRISTMAS’ BEFORE THE PAGAN FEAST

But think about it, any day that walould have been attributed to Christmas will also be claimed to be a pagan feast day because everyday of the week is named after a pagan god.

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CPC List: We Are At a Loss On the Data the US Government Used for the Delisting of Nigeria – CAN

Press Statement: The leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has said that the Association is at a loss on the data or statistics used by the US government in arriving at delisting Nigeria from the list of ‘Countries of Particular Concern’ on the issue of freedom of religion.

The US government did not contact us when they were listing Nigeria among the countries of ‘Particular Concern’ on religious freedom, neither did they seek our opinion before removing Nigeria from the list. If they had done, we would have been able to compare the statistics then and now on the issue of freedom of religion in Nigeria. Whatever may be the data they used, our prayer is that Nigeria would be a country where no religious group is discriminated against or persecuted and that our government would see to it that all religiously biased policies are discontinued with. 

Christians had faced and are still facing persecution from ISWAP and the Boko Haram Islamic Group till today as before. These are the people who said their agenda was to wipe away Christianity from Nigeria and to plant Islam as the only religion from the North down to the Atlantic Ocean in the South. That agenda with the killing of Christians has not stopped till today and Nigerians are living witnesses.

The bandits have joined other militant Islamic groups to be ferociously attacking churches, killing worshippers and kidnapping for ransom. The herdsmen are equally doing their havoc. We have lost many people and places of worship to their assault, especially  in the  Northcentral part of  the country and the Northeast. Though, the madness has grown now and those who are not Christians are being attacked, killed  and kidnapped, this is because these criminal acts have become lucrative business and it is whoever you can kidnap for money! If the government had responded appropriately when this criminal madness began and subdued these evil groups immediately, we wouldn’t be where we are now!

We have been shouting at the top of our voice in Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), almost in vain, that government policies should be religiously neutral enough so that no religious group would be seen as being favoured or discriminated against. For example, for almost a year ago now, some of our churches are finding it difficult with the Ministry of Interior to get new marriage certificate booklet after they had exhausted the ones they were using. Some had applied for new supply as far back as January this year without any response from Ministry of Interior till now. This means that such churches licensed to conduct wedding were denied the right to do so for no cogent reason from the government!It is not only in Nigeria that churches are allowed to conduct wedding once they were licensed to do so. Why are the churches being denied the right to do so now in Nigeria? If there is nothing to hide by the government and it is not a subtle religious discrimination, why didn’t the ministry in a written form or verbally explain to the churches that needed new marriage certificate booklet why the supply is delayed? 

We are seizing this opportunity to appeal to the Ministry of Interior to put its acts together and allow the licensed churches to collect the marriage certificate booklets from the local government registries nearest to them without further delay and cost.

All right thinking people would continue to ask the US government to let the world know what has changed on the issue of religious freedom and persecution the Christians are facing between the time they placed the country in the list of ‘Countries of Particular Concern’ and now! CAN in particular would like to know! This is  because all those factors that put Nigeria on CPC list for the first time in 2020 are still there.

For example, many states in the North are yet to reverse the policy which denies Christians the Certificate of Occupancy to build churches in their own country. Equally, some, if not many states in the North do not allow Christian students to study Christian Religious Studies in the public schools because it is not made available in their curriculum. In a similar vein, Christian students had and are still complaining that they are denied admission to government owned universities in the North to study courses like Law and Medicine, among others. Christian students such as Leah Sharibu and students kidnapped from Bethel Baptist High School were left with the kidnappers without any purposeful rescue mission organised for them.

The relatives and churches of the kidnapped people were forced and are being forced to pay ransom worth millions of Naira to secure their people or children! Up till now , the Federal Government refused to see banditry as terrorism and has therefore refused to label them as terrorists. For whose good is this? Is it because the bandits are close to those in government or because of religious consideration?

Similarly, ISWAP and other Islamic terrorists that surrendered or were captured were not allowed to face the wrath of the law but rather, unlike other criminals are being slated for a programme of de-radicalization or rehabilitation! These are people who had sent many people to early graves! Is this action of government fair to the people they killed and the rest of us whom these people traumatized and put in sadness over our property or relatives they killed? Why were the armed robbers not de-radicalized? What becomes of our criminal justice system if this kind of anomaly is allowed to stay?

Up till today, our government is still funding the membership of Nigeria in all the International Islamic organisations like OIC and its allies without being part of any international Christian organization. 

Once again, we urge the US government to help us by allowing us to know what has changed between the time our country was put in the list of ‘countries of particular concern’ and now.

Let me conclude by saying that we are trying to bring some of the issues of religious persecution or discrimination up at our Nigeria Inter-Religious Council (NIREC) meeting so as to douse religious tension and foster harmonious relationship between religious adherents in Nigeria. Please be praying for us for success along this line.

Thank You 

Rev. Dr. Samson Olasupo Ayokunle. President, CAN

Signed

His Eminence, Rev. Dr. Samson Olasupo Ayokunle 

The President, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN).

20th November, 2021.

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COMMUNIQUE: RESOLUTIONS AT CAN’S 4TH QUARTERLY NEC MEETING

COMMUNIQUE OF THE CHRISTIAN ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (CAN) AT THE END OF THE 4TH QUARTERLY MEETING HELD ON THURSDAY 11TH NOVEMBER, 2021 AT THE NATIONAL ECUMENICAL CENTRE, ABUJA.

The 4th quarterly meeting of the National Executive Council (NEC) of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) was held at the National Christian Centre Abuja on Thursday, 11th November, 2021 under the chairmanship of the CAN President, His Eminence, Rev. Dr. Supo Ayokunle. In attendance were the other members of CAN national Executive, heads of the five Blocs of CAN, delegates from the Blocs, chairperson of the Women Wing (WOWICAN) and Youth Wing (YOWICAN) of CAN and other prominent Christian leaders in Nigeria.  During the NEC meeting, the Council deliberated on many issues affecting the Body of Christ in Nigeria and the well-being of Nigerians in general. Notable among these issues are:

1. The National Executive Council appreciates the recent efforts of the Security agencies for the prompt action taken to rescue the Staff Members of the Federal University of Abuja who were recently kidnapped. However, it admonishes the Federal Government and Security Agencies to be more proactive to stop with immediate effect, the spate of kidnapping in the country especially in Kaduna State where kidnapping is now almost a daily occurrence. CAN challenges the Security Agencies to respond quickly to distress calls and protect the lives and properties of Nigerians. It further calls on the Federal Government to do all it can to release the abducted innocent people in captivity unconditionally without further loss of lives.

2. On the need  for prompt action by security Agencies, CAN also wishes to advise the Federal, States and Local Government Areas to immediately initiate  an all inclusive security dialogue with all stakeholders. This  will help towards finding a lasting solution to the security challenges.

3. CAN enjoins the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) to be consistent about the information it puts on its website. It particularly noticed that the telephone numbers on its website are not functioning. It should do all it takes to help educate and constantly update Nigerians about the challenges of COVID-19 and the availability or otherwise of COVID vaccines.  

4. CAN advises the Federal Government to put in place a better administration of the QR Barcode reader payment required for returning to Nigeria from overseas. A situation where Nigerians are subjected to intimidations abroad because of the negligence of duty of the officials is very embarrassing. Also, the ugly practice by some Government officials extorting money from citizens coming back home without remitting same to government coffers must be checked.

5. CAN acknowledges the resilience of Nigerians in view of the prevailing economic hardships and insecurities in the country and advises the Federal Government to not worsen the situation with increasing electricity tariffs, prices of cooking gas, and merely allocating funds for maintenance of roads without corresponding visible impacts.

6. CAN wants the general public to know that it now has a new (amended) constitution which was adopted by the General Assembly and signed into law by the CAN President on 25th February 2021. It therefore, calls on the Christian faithful to get themselves acquainted with the provisions of the new constitution. It also admonishes believers to take ownership of the Association so as to appreciate the workings and operations of CAN.

7. As the nation prepares for the electioneering campaigns towards the 2023 General Elections, CAN urges all Christians and citizens that are of age to without delay take advantage of INEC’s re-validation of voters’ cards exercise and register to get  their voters’ cards. Politicians should conduct themselves in a manner that will bring peace and unity. Youths should not allow any selfish office seeker to use them to cause violence before, during and after the politicking exercise.

8.  CAN prays for the Government and people of Nigeria.

9. As we approach Christmas and the New year, CAN commits Nigeria to the hands of God and wishes all of us a wonderful celebration in advance. 

Barrister Joseph Bade Daramola  (General Secretary CAN.)

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10 BIBLE VERSES DURING TOUGH TIMES

We all struggle with tough times at some point in our lives, especially those times when things aren’t going as planned, or times when we face series of tribulations and challenges that seems too heavy for us. These challenges could emanate from work, family, school, friends, or other realities of life.

For instance, there were times whenn things might get really frustrating, and we somewhat begin to fall into depression because of the situation we might face at that time. Been through such, right? But we should keep on reassuring ourselves that God’s grace is sufficient and will see us through those tough periods.

A lot of us tend to forget what the scriptures say about these times, and we just give up on ourselves; That’s a wrong approach. Let uslook up to God and cast our burdens on Him. Remember, God will always love and come through for you even at your darkest hour!

Aside the numerous scriptures that helps us in our times of struggles, here are 10 BIBLE VERSES THAT WILL HELP YOU DURING TOUGH TIMES.

  • “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; be not frightened, neither be dismayed; for the Lord, your God is with you wherever you go.” – Joshua 1:9
  • “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” – Proverbs 3: 5- 6
  • “No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you.” – Joshua 1:5
  • “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  – Matthew 11:28
  • “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”  – Isaiah 41:10
  • “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” – Psalm 46: 1
  • “But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary; they will walk and not be faint.” – Isaiah 40: 31
  • “For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love, and self-discipline.” – 2 Timothy 1:7
  • “The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?” – Psalm 118: 6
  • “The Lord will give strength unto His people; the Lord will bless His people with peace.:- Psalm 29:11

Stay Blessed, and have a great week ahead!

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DIVINE PROVISION: “BEYOND OUR FINANCIAL EXPECTATIONS”

When Moses Bliss sang: “God is too faithful”, the reality in that song is so evident, especially in our daily living.

God has evidently been faithful towards us, our families and businesses; and we can make a brief analysis to see how awesome He has been in providing and sustaining us, daily.

Let’s try doing some calculation and financial fix to unveil how God has been taking care of us in an all-encompassing way.

Note, it’s not about how organized, coordinated or financial intelligent we are towards our daily living; but God has made a way that has enabled us to LIVING ABOVE OUT FINANCIAL EXPECTATIONS.

For example:

Let’s consider a family with Three (3) Children, yourself and spouse:  3 +2=5

Let’s do the calculation:

5 plates of food for breakfast, 5 plates for lunch & 5 plates for dinner

= 15 plates of food per day.

Multiply by at least N300 per plate:  =  N4,500

 N4,500 per day for 30 days (1 month); We spend average of N135, 000 per month… That’s N1,620,000 per annum …and you say, you are not a millionaire?

Snacks and in-between meals are not included o! School fees, are not included. Medical bills are not included here too. Transport fare/fueling not yet in the calculation o! What of recharge cards, subscriptions and other miscellaneous. Shoes, clothes etc, not added o! After all, we no go go out naked nah… Right?

House rent, for those without a house of their own, is not included. Outrageous Electricity bills and other utility bills are not in the calculation. ‘Oga something for the boys?’ no dey there oooo! (Lol)

Now, the question is, “How do you make it happen with your monthly stipends?” Isn’t it a miracle that we live, and still pushing?

And, God just have a special way of coming through for us at each time we are stranded?

Count your blessings, name them one by one; Count your blessings, see what God has done;

Count your blessings, name them one by one; And it will surprise you what the LORD  has done for you and your family.

Let’s return all Glory to our creator. Let us be grateful for all the faithfulness, care and kindness God has shown us, and is still showing us.

Daily, make “THANK YOU JESUS CHRIST” your anthem. He rewards a grateful heart with more than what we expected.

Remember, you must be closer to God at all times.

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STATE OF THE NATION: THE ROLE OF THE CHURCH IN BUILDING A SAFE AND SECURE NIGERIA. – RT. REV. PROF. DAPO F. ASAJU

“When evil men plot, good men must plan,
When evil men burn and bomb, good men must build and bind, When evil men shout ugly words of hatred, good men must commit themselves to the glories of love.
where evil men would seek to perpetuate an unjust status quo, good men must seek to bring into being a real order of justice”

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Healthy Living in Christ

Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, as it goes well with your soul. 3 John 1:2

God desires fullness of health and freedom from any bodily affliction which is one of God’s greatest gifts to mankind. Most importantly, he also invites us to participate in the work of restoring and stewarding our bodies. The state of the body exercises a great influence on the mind and soul.
When unhealthy, our impressions of the outward will be untrue, and our influence upon the outward will be limited and feeble. Our spiritual feelings and expressions are also considerably toned and stained by our physical condition.

Proverbs 17:22 says “A joyful heart is a good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones”.

God’s plan for man was never to be unhealthy or out of shape. So many people including us believers fall into the trap of thinking that God finds no worries in seeing a sick Christian (but no, he does). That is far from the truth. As Jesus walked on this earth fully reincarnated as man, one of His most proactive ministries was the healing of sickness and affliction.
The Scripture tells us in Matthew 4:23, “And he went throughout all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction among the people.”

An unhealthy lifestyle can be caused by so many things, not just what we eat or drink but through sin passed on from generation to generations and most importantly ignorance of God’s laws (take a look at the Laws of Moses especially Leviticus which is regarded as a book of health laws) or sometimes simply just affliction from an enemy that doesn’t want you to experience the fullness of God’s plan in your life.
Psalm 38:3 reminds us that, “There is no soundness in my flesh because of thy anger; neither is there any rest in my bones because of my sin.” This simply implies that the absence of God in our spiritual life can lead to sickness and disease. This is not to say that all the people who are sick are not right with God, but we live in an imperfect world that needs more of God’s grace to sustain us.

God’s goodness and fullness have always brought forth a flow of healing and goodness not just upon the body, but even our souls and spirits. As God heals hopelessness, uncertainty, anxiety, lack, fear and so much more, He also brings healing upon our physical bodies. And just as God gives us the enabling grace to say no to the sin that entraps our spirits, He also gives us the grace to be good stewards of our body to exercise, eat right and still live a healthy life in Christ.

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Life As It Is

As a child, we look forward to the future

Creating an image of what we want for the future

But when we become adult everything seems different

The images we created as kids begin to fade away

And new images are been captured                               

Some images are been deleted deliberately by us

While some are been formatted or corrupted by life experiences

Perhaps life is just full of mystery that captures images we never planned for…..

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Woman; Guard Your Tongue

It is often said that the woman’s tongue tends to get them in trouble when not cautioned.

Our tongues can bless, cause, complain, and communicate the gospel all within a matter of seconds or minutes! And can also inspire the hardest heart or crush a tender spirit.

However, I am convinced that more people are injured by the improper use of the tongue than by any other force.

   The Bible says in (Proverbs 13:3) “He who guards his mouth preserves his life, but he who opens wide his lips shall have destruction”

This simply implies that a virtuous woman should always make it her goal to use the tongue properly and only for good.

     As believers, we have nothing to brag about in our Christianity, if we are not actively working to “bridle our tongues.”

Although James 3:8 states that no one (in their power) can “tame the tongue,” thankfully, God has provided all we need to discipline this unruly critter in 2 Peter 1:3-8. Ask God to help you tame your tongue.

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