By Martha Agas
Jos, Dec 18, 2018(NNN) As Christians all over the world prepare for the celebration of this year’s Christmas, Rev.Fr Emmanuel Kundum of St. Finbers’ Parish Rayfield, Jos, has urged Christians in Nigeria to be christ-like
The cleric gave the advice in a sermon entitled `Christmas, a Time with Christ` at the annual Christmas carols of St Monica’s Catholic Church, Rantya in Jos.
According to him, most Christians observe the season without the full understanding of its significance, hence making them deviate from its real essence.
“Christmas is a season of joy, peace and good will to people but sadly, we are carried away with merriments and immoral acts.
“ It is a season of merriment but of a different kind, because it is the time Christ was born to eradicate the reign of evil and establish the kingdom of God on earth, “ he said.
He explained that the message of Christmas was unconditional love with no expectations and limitations thus, the reason God sent his only son to earth for the salvation of his children.
Kundum further advised that Christmas should be seen as a period to extend charity to the poor, this he noted was most timely in Plateau.
The cleric said it became for such gesture because of the high number of Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps, adding that there was no better time to assist them than this period.
“Some are sad during the period because they cannot afford to buy gifts for their loved ones, some remembers lost of their loved ones and are heartbroken, but the focus should only be for love.”
The News Agency of Nigeria(NNN) reports that the carol, sponsored by Mees Palace and Dolphins, was an interdenominational rendition with members of the Cocin United Choir, the ECWA choir and the host church choir in.attendance.(NNN)
Edited by Polycarp Auta/Dada Ahmed
Cleric wants entrepreneurship training programmes in orphanages
Mr Silas Olarotimi, Presiding Preacher (Pastor), Anointing of Grace Church, Ilorin, has called for the establishment of entrepreneurship programmes in orphanages in the country.
Olarotimi, who made the appeal in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Ilorin on Thursday said that such gesture would equip the kids with skills for productivity and self-reliance.
He expressed worries that many orphanages were mainly equipped with with food items and other welfare packages, saying “there is need to inculcate training into their operations”.
“Many orphanages are only stocked with foodstuff, they have no standard training centres, there is need to secure the future of these kids,” he said.
He urged government at all levels to partner good spirited private individuals to make the orphanages more productive and rewarding to the society.
“Our donations should not be limited to welfare packages such as food, clothing and medication, let us help them build careers.
“It is everybody’s responsibility to support the orphanage, we cannot abandon them, they deserve to live, survive and make impact in our society,” he said.
Olarotimi said that with proper mentoring, many kids would leave the orphanage fully equipped for a rewarding and fulfilling life.
Edited By: Azubuike Okeh/Muhammad Suleiman Tola (NAN)
Children’s Day: Pray for end to COVID-19, Cleric urges children
The Senior Pastor of Global Harvest Church, Ado-Ekiti, Pastor Dotun Oyawoye, has urged children to pray to God to put an end to the coronavirus pandemic current ravaging the world.
Oyawoye stated this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Wednesday in Ado-Ekiti.
According to him, God loves little children and harkens to their prayers, hence the need for them to beseech Him to be merciful to Nigeria and the entire world.
He enjoined children not to indulge in any act capable of tarnishing the good name of their parents and the society at large.
Oyawoye also called on them to shun social vices, which could jeopardise their future.
“Be good ambassadors of your parents; shun immoral acts and be of good behaviour so that you can achieve the future of your dream,” he counseled.
The pastor also called on parents and governments at all levels to always live up to their responsibilities towards the children to guarantee them better future.
Edited By: Abiodun Esan and (NAN)‘Wale Sadeeq
Eid-el-Fitri: Return to Allah in prayer to end COVID-19 – Cleric
Adamu made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria after observing Eid-el-Fitri prayers in Abakaliki on Sunday.
The Imam said that Muslims have had the opportunity to return to Allah during Ramadan and prayers to end the scourge.
“The pandemic is a sign that Allah wants both Muslims and Christians to get closer to Him through prayers to end the virus.
“I advise people to keep washing their hands, use sanitisers and face masks as directed by the government.
“The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) team were at the Eid prayer grounds to observe the level of compliance and they were satisfied,’’ Adamu said.
He also urged the Muslim faithful to sustain lessons learnt during the Ramadan while they should extend palliatives supports to poor in the society.
“Some faithful have done well in reaching out to the poor in Onueke, Afikpo-North and Ohaukwu Local Government Areas with rice and money to cushion the effect of the pandemic and to enable them to celebrate Eid-el-Fitri with others.’’
Also, the Chief Imam of Central Mosque, Ogbe Hausa in Abakaliki, Alhaji Muhammad Labaran said the period required all to be patient, unite and support the governments.
Labaran, represented by Secretary of the central mosque, Usman Adam, was optimistic that the COVID-19 had increased mutual understanding among the people.
He urged the faithful to understand that the preventive measures ordered by the government were for safety and enable people to stay alive.
He promised to continue to enlighten people on the need for adherence.
Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Abdulfatah Babatunde (NAN)
Cleric charges media practitioners on stories that will promote harmony, peace
Bishop Peter Odetoyinbo of the Catholic Diocese of Abeokuta has advised media practitioners to focus more on writing stories that will promote harmony, unity and peace in the world.
Odetoyinbo gave the advice on Sunday in Abeokuta in his message as the Catholic Church worldwide mark the 54th World Communications Day.
He charged media practitioners to focus more on stories that build up, not tear down; stories that would help mankind to rediscover their roots and the strength they needed to move forward together.
“Media practitioners should shun all forms of bigotry, discrimination and exploitation with the use of the media, which may lead to chaos and destruction.
“”The World Communications Day is set aside to celebrate the progress and achievements of the communication media, and to focus on how it can be harnessed to promote the gospel of peace and harmony in the world,’’ the cleric said.
He said that the media should do more stories weaved around the love and the life of Jesus, the Son of God.
“We should tell more of the stories of hope and solace, of sharing and love; stories that remind us of Jesus’ life, death and the resurrection; all geared toward saving the world.
“In every of our experiences, God always has a good story for us. One of our good stories from the experience of COVID-19 is the opportunity given to individual families to flourish.
“Many families can now share from their rich encounters of Jesus in their own homes,” Odetoyinbo said.
The cleric appreciated media practitioners for their tireless efforts in ensuring that all are well-informed and carried along in the fight against the Coronavirus disease.
He urged that the media should portray the good sides of the Coronavirus disease’s experience, the care and concern of the government and families to the society.
Odetoyinbo noted that before the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, stories in the media were characterised by ingratitude and wastefulness, adding that the media exploited the earth and all its resources.
He added that previously, the media devalued human life and made a cheap commodity of it, saying that media stories were not all good but it could be better.
The cleric encouraged media practitioners to tell stories of love that reached out to people, and stories of the need to sacrifice oneself in place of another, by so doing creating a beautiful love story.
He charged media practitioners to write reports that would inspire coming generations to also love like Christ, adding that it was the only way to understand that human stories are in a certain sense, divine stories.
“What will our stories be like at the end of the current world crisis? Will it be like Jesus’ story? Would we have re-enacted the Good Samaritan episode?
“Would we still care for the handshakes and hugs, the visits and long conversations or would love die in us?
“Would we show the earth more care and tenderness or continue to exploit her? Would we rewrite our stories for good?
“Definitely, we will re-write our story and love and care for each other better, and the earth and heavens will rejoice at humanity coming together,’’ Odetoyinbo said.
Edited By: Oluyinka Fadare/Peter Dada (NAN)
Eid-el-Fitr: Pray to end COVID-19, Cleric admonishes Muslims
Idris made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria after observing two raka’at prayers at the Eid ground in Bauchi on Sunday.
He said Muslims have the responsibility to pray fervently and support the government on its efforts to tackle current challenges, including insecurity and COVID-19.
“I am calling on all of us to continue supporting the government in its effort to overcome the dreaded pandemic that brought untold hardship in the society.
“Government will do the needful and we support it with prayers to see to the end of the COVID-19.”
He cautioned against immoral celebration of Sallah amidst the global fight against Coronavirus that need prayers to get out of it.
Idris therefore urged Muslims to celebrate with caution in their homes and families as stipulated by Islamic injunctions,saying going beyond that will provoke Almighty Allah.
Idris however enjoined the general public to continue observing the rules of managing the pandemic.
He also called for maintaining the preventive measures, such as maintenance of physical distancing, regular hand washing and use of facemask, among others.
He explained that Ramadan is a time of complete and sincere submission to the will of God as it serves to purify our souls and make us conscious of our Creator.
Edited By: Muhammad Suleiman Tola (NAN)
Cleric focuses sermon on indecent dressing by woman, social-distancing in prayer
A cleric in Dutse, Jigawa, Imam Baba Waziri, on Sunday focused his Eid-el-Fitri sermon on indecent dressing among Muslim women, especially those working in public places.
The Imam, who led the Eid prayer at the Tatur Adua in the Commercial Secondary School, Tatur side in Dutse, cautioned Muslim women to fear God and His chastisement against violating the commandments.
Waziri said Islam is a complete way of life and doesn’t support women, irrespective of their status, to dress indecently.
He said that Islam encourages women to always wear Hijab that would cover the whole body, noting that women’s body is not meant for the public show but for their spouses.
On social distances in prayer, the Imam said it was Islamic that those who are infected by any infectious diseases are not allowed to mix with others in prayers, whether in the Mosque or any other social gathering place.
He also called on Nigerians to avoid spreading fake news capable of causing civil unrest in the society on social media.
The Imam said that it was duty bond on every Muslim to comply with the government regulations in the fight against the novel coronavirus disease.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that early morning rainfall, however, prevented the Chief Imam of Dutse, Dr Abubakar Sani, from leading the prayer at the state Eid praying ground.
The Imam, instead led the prayer inside the Central Mosque with the Deputy Governor, Alhaji Umar Namadi and other residents in attendance.
The Imam appealed to Nigerians to pray for country to get out of the pandemic.
NAN reports that the state government had directed all Muslim residents to observe their Eid prayer in their respective localities as against the traditional congregational Eid praying grounds across the state.
Muslims in Duste had complied with the government directives in observing the Eid prayers in their various localities.
Majority of the faithful were seen wearing face masks as instructed by the government while in the praying ground
Edited By: Abdulfatah Babatunde (NAN)
Eid-El Fitri: Cleric urges Muslim faithful to imbibe teachings, lessons of Ramadan
An Islamic cleric, Sheik Abdul Isola, has enjoined Muslim faithful to imbibe the teachings and lessons of Ramadan, and depart from evil.
Isola, the Chief Imam of the Islamic Centre, Uwani, Enugu, stated this while speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria on Saturday in Enugu.
NAN reports that Ramadan, which is the ninth month in the Islamic lunar calendar, is a period when all Muslims are expected to observe a compulsory one-month fast.
The cleric noted that “most times, the hardship and sudden calamities that befall men are as a result of sin and lack of fear of Allah in the way they carry on with their lives.
“The Holy Quran and Islamic scholars have taught us through the television, radio and other electronic platforms to strive to shun evil, embrace Allah and live in accordance with His divine instructions.
“We should not make any mistake about it; there is always repercussion for sins and evil doings; if it is not here on earth, it will be during the judgment day,’’ he said.
Isola, who is the Chief Missioner of the centre, also urged Muslim ummah to strive to live in peace with their neighbours, which he said, Islam, as a way of life, was noted for.
“We must also strive to live in peace with others, as exemplified by the Holy Prophet Mohammed,’’ he said.
The cleric advised Muslim faithful, especially the wealthy ones, to pay their Zakkat (compulsory religious alms giving) and provide for the poor within their neighbourhoods during this season.
“There is the need for wealthy Muslims to provide for the less-privileged and the poor around them so that they too could share in the joy of the season,’’ he said.
Edited By: Vivian Ihechu and (NAN)‘Wale Sadeeq
Christian Cleric felicitates with Muslims on Eid-El-Fitr in Kaduna
A Christian leaders in Kaduna State, Pastor Yohanna Buru, has congratulated and felicitated with the Muslims as they mark end of Ramadan fasting and celebrate Eid-el-fitr.
Buru, the general Overseer of Christ Evangelical and life Intervention Ministry, Sabon Tasha, in Kaduna, gave the commendation in an interview with journalists at his home in Kaduna.
The cleric also urged Muslim faithful to equally remember to donate and share their foods and other edible items and drinks to widows, prison inmates, destitute, IDPs kids/orphans and the poor masses that were currently in lockdown due to novel Coronavirus pandemic.
He called on wealthy individuals, politicians, government and Islamic organisations and council of Ulamas, JNI, to equally assist the poor Muslims with food and other items, so as to make the poor celebrate Sallah like other Muslims with joy and happiness.
Buru congratulated Sheik Dahiru Bauchi, Sheik Salihu Mai-Barota and all Nigerian Islamic scholars for the successful completion of this year’s Tafsir.
The cleric said that ijn spite of the coronavirus pandemic, this year’s Ramadan season recorded huge success in view of the encouraging participation by various Christian organisations during Iftar period.
According to the cleric, this has enhanced inter-faith activities with other religious faithful toward strengthening peaceful co-existence among different faith base organisations.
“We congratulate you on the successful completion of the 30 days of Ramadan, the prayers and fasting you offered which include some special night prayers for peace and unity in Nigeria.
“May the Almighty answer your prayers to keep us together in peace and harmony.
“We should remembered that Islam and Christianity teach us to forgive one another, we should also remember that we are from one family, Adam and Eve.
“We worship one God, we all believe in paradise and hell, we believe in the holy books which are Bible and Quran, as well as believe in the day of resurrection.
“Therefore, we must be our brothers keeper.
“I wish you all happy Sallah and may God bring an end to COVID-19,” he said.
Buru called on Muslim scholars to pray for God’s intervention in order to bring an end to insecurity challenges bedeviling peace and stability across the nation.
The cleric also called on Muslim and Christian preachers to pray for Nigeria military that are on peace mission across the globe.
Edited By: Abiodun Esan/Donald Ugwu (NAN)
Eid-el-Fitr: Cleric advocates monitoring of social centres to contain COVID-19
Alhaji Tajudeen Isiaka, the Chief Imam of Olohunwa Mosque, Ilorin, has advocated the need for strict monitoring of social centres during Eid-el-Fitr celebration to contain COVID-19 spread.
Isiaka made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Ilorin on Saturday.
He urged security operatives to be on guard at the various social centres to prevent unnecessary gathering.
According to him, the government must ensure total monitoring of bars, restaurants, recreational centres, hotels, malls and other social centres for violations.
“There are some people that will plan to celebrate widely. They will sneak into such places all in the name of Eid-el-Fitr celebration not minding their own safety.
“We must avoid the spread of Coronavirus. We cannot underrate COVID-19. We should be ready to sacrifice our merriment for safety at this trying time.
“I urge every Muslim to pray indoor, make their home Eid praying ground as well as celebrate on their dining table for safety purposes,” he advised.
“The fight is everybody’s fight and not government alone. Let us adhere to safety measures as stipulated by health officials,” he said.
He also advised the public to consistently wash their hands with sanitiser, use face mask when going out and observe physical distancing to prevent further spread of the disease.
Edited By: Joe Idika/Muhammad Suleiman Tola (NAN)
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