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Killers For Religion Not Worshipping God –Jonathan

Killers For Religion Not Worshipping God –Jonathan

President Goodluck Jonathan on Sunday criticised those who kill and maim in the name of religion, saying such people cannot be worshipping God.

Killers For Religion Not Worshipping God –Jonathan

Jonathan made the observation in his remarks at a service to mark the 30th episcopal ordination and celebration of the elevation of John Onaiyekan to cardinal at Our Lady Queen of Nigeria, Pro-Cathedral, Abuja.

Fundamentalist Islamic sect, Boko Haram, has been claiming responsibility for many of the bombings in the country, especially in the North.

The violence unleashed by the sect, which among other things, is demanding the Islamisation of the country, had claimed hundreds of lives.

But Jonathan on Sunday insisted that the two major religions in the country preach love and tolerance, saying anybody or group who acted contrary to the injunctions could not be said to be worshipping God.

He said, “We all know that no religion preaches or encourages violence. The two major religions in our land preach brotherhood love and peaceful co-existence which are their foundations.

“Those who do otherwise do not worship God. Because it cannot be the same person who worships God that will encourage people to kill people who are also created by God.

“We believe that God created all of us and anybody who raises weapon to kill the very one created by God cannot be said to be worshipping God.”

The President urged church leaders to help  in moulding good characters that will help in building a better society.

He expressed the belief that if the church carried out its responsibility of building Nigerians of good character, the nation would be a better place for all.

Jonathan, who congratulated Onaiyekan on his elevation, said it was a significant achievement and honour for the clergyman and the nation.

Noting that he had been working and interacting with the clergyman since he was Vice-President Jonathan said Onaiyekan came across as a simple, humble and unassuming man of God.

He expressed the hope that very soon, a Nigerian would emerge a Pope.

“Very soon, not too long, we shall also celebrate a papal father from Nigeria,” he declared.

President of the Senate, David Mark, at a reception after the service, expressed the readiness of the National Assembly to make a law that would curtail the activities of religious extremists.

He said, “We (members of the National Assembly) are ready to support religious activities that will foster unity in the country and we are ready to make laws that will fight religious extremism in the country.”

Also,  the President of the Senate, David Mark, admitted that churches in the country are currently facing challenges occasioned by insecurity.

He, however, regretted that the challenges were being foisted on the church by a few few people.

He expressed the belief with prayers, the church and nation shall overcome.

Onaiyekan, in his sermon said no ruler or a nation can be great when there is no justice and fairness.

He said, “No ruler or a nation, no king or kingdom can be great when there is no justice, fairness and concern for the poor and the needy.  When the poor and needy are neglected, it is a path to disintegration,” he said.

He said a true religion should be opened to all, embrace peace and devoid of blood shedding.

The cardinal urged Nigerians to work hard to change the nation’s tainted image,  which came about as a result of religious fanaticism and other vices.

He said, “That Nigeria is deeply religious is a precious asset. It is however sad that our image abroad is tainted with fanaticism, religious intolerance, killing and shedding of blood.

“We must not allow this to continue. We have to strive to live in peace in our nation with our differences of tribe, culture, tradition, language and religion.

“We must see the image of God in everybody around us and apply the golden rule that we should do to others only what we can do to ourselves.”

Onaiyekan said Nigerians must learn to live together with our differences in creed, ethnic and cultural values.

We must learn to respect one another, obeying the golden rule of doing to others what you want them to do to you. It is only then that religion will be able to perform his role of building peace, harmony and unity in the country.

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