BY ARJIROMANUS VICTOR:
The Anglican Church communion, Diocese of Lagos West, has called on all leaders of religious bodies to desist from preaching hate sermons in churches and mosques, saying it could lead to division in the country.
Speaking at a gathering of INEC stakeholders, today, January 12, the representative of the Anglican Church, Ven. Folarin Shobo called on all clerics of religious body to avoid the temptation of preaching sermons that could lead to civil unrest and divide.
He said; ‘’Let me say this as a Nigerian and as a religious leader, that we need to, at this point in time encourages INEC, not to condemn it. I want to encourage all preachers, from whichever angle we are looking at it, to mind what we say through the microphones to those who listen to us.’
‘’We are critical opinion leaders in this nation and we need to get it right. It is the consciousness that we have put to our congregation that they believe. Every of the Eighty million registered voters belongs to either a church or a mosque, and when they misbehave they are representing us, so what we tell them when they come to worship goes a long way in what they react to outside. As preachers that are privileged to use microphone, we need to be mindful of the type of mindset we have, so we don’t pass negative messages to our faithful, who are going to vote.’’
Continuing, he said, ‘Nigeria will remain, even after the elections, so there is no need clerics divide the people with their preaching’
‘’We need to stop hate speech sermons in our churches and in our mosques. When election ends the congregation continues. It’s just a temporary one or two hours they are going to spend. Please, I encourage preachers of the gospel particularly pastors and Imams, whatever nomenclature we give to ourselves to be mindful of what we preach and how we interpret our sermons.
“Nigeria belongs to all of us and as the Bible says that we should pray for the peace of Jerusalem, we should pray for the peace of Nigeria because it is our own Jerusalem. May God bless the federal republic of Nigeria,” he said.