On the 12th of June 2022, a female student Deborah Samuel was murdered gruesomely by students who accused her of blasphemy. Today being Sunday, three days after the gruesome act, Christians in Nigeria would have the opportunity to gather for worship, and I wonder what the preacher men and the General Overseers, Bishops and Archbishops are going to preach to their congregations. Will they be preaching their usual prosperity sermons, or will they use this time to reflect on the state of the Christian faith that has been under threat in Nigeria?
Will they allow the cross to suffer loss, or will they stand to defend it? Are they going to stand up for Jesus, or will they sit back for their wealth at the detriment of the cross?
The Christians in Nigeria are the most persecuted in the world. Many acts of barbarity meted out against them are not even documented or mentioned. They leave their defence to God, that already bestowed them with the right of self-defence. This mentality must stop. The Preacher men and women have one duty, to sensitize the church to stand up and defend the faith they profess.
Note that in the usual way, perpetrators and supporters of the dastardly act have taken to the streets in Sokoto to unleash further violence on Christians and people of southern extraction who live in the northern part of Nigeria. These occurrences raise profound questions about the unity and secularism of the Nigerian state.
The principle of secular humanism, which seeks to lead human affairs based on temporal and realistic considerations, is not attainable in Nigeria. There cannot be one government that operates two systems. Christians and well-meaning Nigerians must reject this practice and seek a better future, or we must seize to exist together.
Also, Christian politicians must take a strong stand and call a spade a spade. They must put their selfish political aspirations aside and address the endless persecution of Christians in Nigeria. Politicians who cannot offer a viable solution to this problem are not fit to run for any political office.
Nigerian Christians are called upon to stand up more than ever before and resist this intimidation and constant bullying. The Christians' redemption is a must, and the cross must not suffer defeat.
Nyherovwo Ochuko Eriema
Founder, Niger Delta Initiative Austria ( Human Right Activist)