Tag Archives: religion

Despite COVID-19 threat, Muslims celebrate Eid Worldwide.


Muslims around the world began marking a sombre Eidul Fitr Sunday, many under coronavirus lockdown, but lax restrictions offer respite to worshippers in some countries despite fears of skyrocketing infections.

The festival, one of the most important in the Muslim calendar marking the end of the holy month of Ramazan, is traditionally celebrated with mosque prayers, family feasts and shopping for new clothes, gifts and sweet treats.

But this year, the celebration is overshadowed by the fast-spreading respiratory disease, with many countries tightening lockdown restrictions after a partial easing during Ramadan led to a sharp spike in infections.

Further dampening the festive spirit, multiple countries — from Saudi Arabia to Egypt, Turkey and Syria — have banned mass prayer gatherings, a festival highlight, to limit the spread of the disease.

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Saudi Arabia, home to Islam’s holiest sites, began a five-day, round-the-clock curfew from Saturday after infections more than quadrupled since the start of Ramadan to around 68,000 –- the highest in the Gulf.

Eid prayers will be held at the two holy mosques in the cities of Makkah and Madinah “without worshippers”, authorities said on Saturday, citing a royal decree.

Makkah’s Grand Mosque has been almost devoid of worshippers since March, with a stunning emptiness enveloping the sacred Kaaba.

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Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa mosque, Islam’s third holiest site, will reopen to worshippers only after Eid, its governing body said.

In Lebanon, the highest Sunni religious authority has announced the reopening of mosques only for Friday prayers. Worshippers, however, will be subject to temperature checks and sanitary controls before they enter.

– Fears of ‘new peak’ –

Meanwhile, Muslims across Asia — from Indonesia to Pakistan, Malaysia and Afghanistan — thronged markets for pre-festival shopping, flouting coronavirus guidelines and sometimes even police attempts to disperse large crowds.

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“For over two months my children were homebound,” said Ishrat Jahan, a mother of four, at a bustling market in the Pakistani city of Rawalpindi.

“This feast is for the kids, and if they can’t celebrate it with new garments, there is no point in us working so hard throughout the year.”

In Indonesia –- the world’s most populous Muslim nation — people are turning to smugglers and fake travel documents to get around bans on the annual end-of-Ramadan travel that could send infections soaring. 

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More than 3,500 Tunisians who travelled home just ahead of the holiday will have to spend it away from their families, forced to quarantine for two weeks in hotels after arriving from abroad.

Atef Maherzi, a doctor repatriated Tuesday from Saudi Arabia, said she would be catching up with family over Skype, foregoing her usual role of host.

“Usually, I’m the mistress of the house, but this time, my husband will receive the guests alone.”

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The COVID-19 death tolls across the Middle East and Asia have been lower than in Europe and the United States, but numbers are rising steadily, sparking fears the virus may overwhelm often underfunded healthcare systems.

Iran, which has experienced the Middle East’s deadliest outbreak, has called on its citizens to avoid travel during Eid as it battles to control infection rates.

Iran shut schools and places of worship and banned inter-city travel for the Persian New Year holidays in March, but the restrictions were recently eased.

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Health Minister Saeed Namaki said that the country was focusing hard on avoiding “new peaks of the disease” caused by people “not respecting health regulations”.

The exact date of Eid has yet to be set in the Shiite-majority country, but will likely be Monday, in line with the Shiite community’s celebrations in Iraq, as announced by top cleric Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani.

Sunnis in Iraq will mark the start of the festival on Sunday.

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– ‘Comedy night’ –

The neighbouring United Arab Emirates has tightened its lockdown, with the night-time curfew starting at 8:00 pm (1600 GMT) instead of 10:00 pm during Ramadan. 

But that has not stopped some families from planning getaways to luxury beachfront hotels in Ajman or Ras Al-Khaimah emirates.

However, Muslims in many countries are set for frugal celebrations amid growing financial distress.

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The twin shocks of coronavirus restrictions and falling oil prices have plunged the region into the worst economic crisis in decades.

The coronavirus restrictions have hit businesses hard, including retailers who would normally be preparing for the festive rush, as Muslims save their money for masks, gloves and other COVID-19 protective gear.

In the Syrian capital Damascus, Eid shoppers rummaged through flea markets for clothes at bargain prices as the war-ravaged and sanctions-hit country grapples with a much more entrenched economic crisis.

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“The flea market is the only place I can buy something new to wear for the Eid holidays,” 28-year-old Sham Alloush told AFP.

“Had it not been for this place, I wouldn’t have been able to buy new clothes at all.”

But promising some laughs in these dire times, 40 Muslim comedians from across the world will host a virtual show on Sunday called “The Socially Distant Eid Comedy Night”.

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“This Ramadan has been particularly difficult for communities around the world,” said Muddassar Ahmed, head of the Concordia Forum, the organiser of the event.

“We’re proud to be pulling together some of the brightest Muslim comedic talent to entertain those celebrating the Eid festival at home, people looking to learn a little bit about Muslim culture, or really anyone in need of a good laugh.”


#Newsworthy..

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COVID-19: Abortion centres open – worship centres close – Trump piss.


US President Donald Trump has said that he has ordered governors to open worship centers despite coronavirus pandemic still raging.

Trump stated this while reacting to the move by some state governors to keep liquor stores and abortion centers open while worship centers remain closed.

“It’s not right,” Trump said. “I’m calling houses of worship essential.”

“If there’s any question, they’re going to have to call me, but they’re not going to be successful in that call,” Trump said of state leaders.

“The governors need to do the right thing and allow these very important essential places of faith to open right now, for this weekend,”

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“If they don’t do it, I will override the governors.”

“It’s not right,” ”This move is aimed at correcting this injustice.”

“If there’s any question, they’re going to have to call me, But they are not going to be successful in that call.”

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“In America, we need more prayer,” “Not less.” Mr Trump said before leaving the briefing room.

Speaking in a press briefing, Trump stated that he has approved guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention which will enable worship centers to reopen.

Earlier on Friday, Trump said more on the subject.

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“We want our churches and our places of faith and worship, we want them to open,” he said. “But they’re going to be opening up very soon. We want our churches open, we want our places of faith, synagogues, we want them open, and that’s going to start happening.”

“I consider them essential, and that’s one of the things we’re saying. We’re going to make that essential,” Mr Trump said. “You know, they have places [deemed] essential that aren’t essential. And they open, and yet the churches aren’t allowed to open, and the synagogues. And again, places of faith, mosques, places of faith.”


#Newsworthy…

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COVID-19: Churches not to reopen for this reason – CAN.


The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has maintained that churches will not open, despite increased pressure from leaders and members.

This was contained in a statement personally signed by CAN President, Rev. Supo Ayokunle, on Friday.

According to Ayokunle, the relaxation of lockdown had seen the country witnessed more coronavirus infection.

“Champions for the reopening of worship centres argue that if people had contracted the virus in the markets and other places, closing the church from worshipping becomes unreasonable!

“It is like using medicine after death! Furthermore, the church is more organised and a place of healing,” part of the statement read.

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Ayokunle, therefore, urged “all churches to remain closed because the daily increasing infected people in Nigeria is dangerous for the survival of us all.”

He said that “the church needs to exercise restrain at this time so that we might not naively and overzealously plunge our members into regrettable destruction and sorrow.”


#Newsworthy…

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COVID-19: Taraba govt announce religious resumption. [Nigeria]


Amid the Coronavirus pandemic, the Taraba State government has said people in the State can resume their religious activities.

The State Deputy Governor, Haruna Manu made the disclosure during a broadcast on Monday, N.Rs reports.

He, however, directed that people of the State must adhere to the social distancing and other safety protocols while observing their religious activities.

Manu also announced a gradual ease of restriction of movement and other activities across the State.

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The Deputy Governor said Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays have been set aside to enable the residents carry out their activities from 8 am. to 6 pm.

He ordered that the lockdown would still be observed on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.

Warning that violators would face strict penalties, the Deputy governor called on religious leaders and other citizens to comply with the rules.

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This is coming at a time when President Muhammadu Buhari ordered the extension of the gradual ease of lockdown in Lagos, Abuja and Ogun States due to the rising cases of COVID-19 in this three states.

The Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 had disclosed the President’s directive on Monday during the committee’s daily briefing in Abuja.


#Newsworthy…

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Breaking: Borno Govt Approve ‘Religious Gatherings’ – Suspend Lockdown. [NIGERIA]


The Borno State Government has suspended the lockdown imposed on non-essential movement, following significant progress recorded in the fight against Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in the state.

Alhaji Umar Kadafur, the Deputy Governor of the state, who doubles as the Chairman of the state’s High-Powered Response Team for the Prevention and Control of COVID-19, announced this in a statement on Wednesday in Maiduguri.

He said: “In furtherance of the efforts to contain and eradicate this deadly scourge, the High Powered Committee wishes to announce the indefinite suspension of the Lockdown for the time being.”

Kadafur attributed the successes recorded in the state to the stringent measures adopted to contain the virus, which had yielded the desired result.

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According to him, the suspension of lockdown was to study the situation, noting that the government will not hesitate to revert to the status quo if the pandemic escalate.

He declared the use of face mask in all public places to be mandatory in the state as he directed all government officials, traditional rulers, religious leaders, community and opinion leaders to adhere strictly to the enforcement of social/physical distancing in places of worship and social gathering.

“Henceforth, Jumma’at prayers and five daily prayers shall be observed in all mosques as recommended by the Borno State Council of Ulamas.

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“Churches shall also conduct services as recommended by the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN).

“All congregations must be observed based on strict principles of COVID-19 preventive measures which included social distancing, use of face mask and hand sanitizer,” he said


#Newsworthy…

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God detest perfumes – Christian Lady claims. [Nigeria]

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Mugechi Monika, a self professed demon tormented Christian lady, has taken to social media to claim that God hates perfumes.

According to her, she was getting tormented by a demon and the demon even went on tormenting her armpit and no matter what she said and the scriptures she quoted, the demon refused to go.

She said:

“Grace, peace and mercy unto you all my brethren who are reading this post. I once said that I will share a revelation,that God gave to me concerning the use of perfumes and deodorants. I delayed in sharing the dream as I was waiting for the Lord to give me a confirmation in His word.

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In my dream, I was sleeping and a demon came upon my shoulder and started irritating me. I tried to rebuke it in the name of Jesus Christ but it would not leave. I tried to quote scripture but it would not stop irritating me and it even started irritating my armpit. The Lord gave me understanding that the demon was tormenting me because of the deodorant I use. Then in my mind I made up my mind to stop using deodorants and then my dream ended. Let’s examine the scriptures;

And it shall come to pass that in stead of sweet smell there shall be a stink and instead of a girdle a rent and instead of well set hair baldness and instead of a stomacher a girding of sackcloth and burning instead of beauty.(Isaiah 3;24)

Here we see that,the Lord is angry with the sweet smell coming from perfumes that the women of Jerusalem are using. I have heard of testimonies from former members of the occult who were married to mermaids. Each one of them testifies that on summoning the mermaids their presence would be detected by the smell of perfume. There’s a spirit of pride in people who use perfumes and deodorants and even some types of lotions as some of these things after manufacturing are dedicated to demons. From my personal experience when I used to use deodorants,I had a sensation of pride.

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In Exodus 30;22-31 God tells Moses to make a sacred annointing oil and the pure sweet-smelling incense mixed like perfume. After the the instruction God warned Moses never to make any other like it and that it should not be poured upon any man’s flesh because it is Holy and it’s only consecrated to the Lord.

Upon man’s flesh shall it not be poured neither shall ye make any other like it,after the composition of it,it is Holy and it shall be holy unto you.(Exodus 30;32)

In Proverbs 7;17 talks about the prostitute and how she uses perfume to seduce men. And that’s the purpose of perfumes,deodrants and some lotions for a seductive spirit is attached to them.

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As Christians we should be clean and neat but we are warned to abstain from things that defile us,things sacrifficed to idols. If you doubt this truth,go boldly before the throne and ask God to reveal it to you.”

However, Kemi Filani News did some research and found out that Perfumes, incense, and scented salts have been around for centuries. In the book of Esther, young women spent months undergoing grooming with scented oils and spices in order to prepare for their invitation into the king’s chambers (Esther 2:12). Our sense of smell is connected to our other senses and can be trained to make us respond in certain ways to a specific scent. Who hasn’t had a moment of déjà vu at the whiff of something that reminds us of grandma’s house or our first date? Proverbs 27:9 says, “Perfume and incense bring joy to the heart.” Certain smells have both positive and negative connotations. Perfumes and colognes tap into the evocative power of scent, and some Christians wonder about the appropriateness of wearing fragrances.

Naomi instructed her daughter-in-law Ruth to “put on perfume and get dressed in your best clothes” in order to make herself attractive to Boaz (Ruth 3:3). There is nothing sinful implied in this. Perfume has always been considered an accessory that helps make people more pleasing to others. In fact, Ecclesiastes 9:7–9 says, “So go ahead. Eat your food with joy, and drink your wine with a happy heart, for God approves of this! Wear fine clothes, with a splash of cologne! Live happily with the woman you love through all the meaningless days of life that God has given you under the sun” (NLT). As might be expected, perfume is spoken of in negative terms when it is worn by an adulterous woman in order to ensnare a man (Proverbs 7:16–18).

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In Jesus’ day, perfumes were a luxury and could often cost a fortune. The most famous mention of perfume is the account of Mary breaking her alabaster jar of expensive perfume and anointing Jesus with it (John 12:3). Jesus praised her for this, saying that she was preparing His body for burial (John 12:7). Perfumes and spices were wrapped with a corpse to help mask the stench of rotting flesh. Without realizing it, Mary was foretelling Jesus’ death and expressing her gratitude for it by anointing her Savior with costly perfume.

Christians should not be motivated by vanity in the use of perfume or cologne, but there is nothing sinful about using a fragrance. As Christians, we are to present ourselves to the world as worthy representatives of our Father’s kingdom (2 Corinthians 5:20). Part of that presentation is personal hygiene and grooming. We should look our best—and smell our best—in order to give a favorable impression to those God has placed in our lives. God’s message of reconciliation is a fragrant gift we offer the world. His messengers need to represent that. People are less likely to listen to such a message from a person who does not seem to care how he or she appears or smells. We should be careful not to overdo perfumes and colognes, and we should be sensitive to people with allergies, but a subtle hint of fine perfume or cologne can help leave a positive impression on those who cross our paths.


#Newsworthy…

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Easter’20: Buhari send message to Christians. [Nigeria]


President Muhammadu Buhari in his goodwill message to Christians in celebration of Easter urged the faithful to imbibe and live the values of Christ.

The President said although this year’s Easter comes amid the COVID-19 pandemic, it is an opportunity for all be hopeful that with intensified prayers backed by personal and collective responsibility, the nation will triumph.

He also enjoined all Christians to rekindle their faith in Christ who overcame persecutions and displayed endurance.


Below is the President’s full message.


I rejoice with our Christian brothers and sisters as well as all Nigerians on the occasion of the celebration of this year’s Easter.

This year’s commemoration of Easter comes amid the grip with which Covid-19 has held the entire world.

Unprecedented in living memory, the majority of Christians have found themselves marking Easter in a subdued manner, away from the usual congregation in churches. This is unusual and very unfortunate.

However, I wish to enjoin our Christian compatriots to rekindle their faith in Christ who overcame persecution, sufferings and displayed endurance, steadfastness and above all piety.

Jesus Christ represented man’s ability to withstand temporary pains in the hope of everlasting glory.

I urge you to imbibe and live the values of humility, discipline, perseverance, sacrifice, and obedience which Jesus Christ demonstrated during His stay on earth.

There is no better opportunity than now for all Christians in particular, and Nigerians in general, to remain faithful and hopeful that with intensified prayers backed by personal and collective responsibility, the nation shall pull through this most difficult trial.

I have no doubt that if all stakeholders – individuals and groups – play their part to the fullest as advised by our scientists and medical experts in confronting Covid-19, the inherent resilience and determination of our people will enable us to pull through.

As I stated in my national broadcast on Sunday, March 29, 2020, since there is currently no known vaccine against the virus, “the best and most efficient way to avoid getting infected is through regular hygiene and sanitary practices as well as social distancing.”

May I use this opportunity to commend the encouraging containment and ameliorating strategies put in place by members of the Presidential Task Force on Covid-19.

I am very much aware of the personal and collective inconveniences suffered by our people due to measures such as restriction of movements and closure of business premises. Being “a matter of life and death,” these sacrifices are in everybody’s interest to save our country from calamity.

The welfare of our people is paramount. Accordingly, the most economically vulnerable in our communities will continue to be uppermost in our plans, and efforts will be made to supply them with basic means of survival.

While we see the Covid-19 pandemic as a global challenge, this administration is not oblivious of the constant threat posed to our national security by terrorists and insurgents. They may take this opportunity to perpetrate attacks. But our armed forces and other security and intelligence services will remain vigilant and continue to contain these threats and consolidate efforts to eradicate them completely.

As we mark this year’s Easter, whatever the circumstances, I encourage you to make the most of the situation, and to keep safe.

I wish you all a Happy Easter.

Muhammadu Buhari
President, Federal Republic of Nigeria


#Newsworthy…

3 Kenyan pastors sue country’s government over lockdown.


A coalition of at least three pastors have sued Kenyan government after church services stopped operating due to the Coronavirus lockdown put in place to halt the spread of the deadly disease.

Justice James Makau of The High Court revealed on Friday that three pastors, Don Mutugi Majau, Joan Miriti, and Alex Gichunge sued the Interior, Health and ICT Cabinet Secretaries, the Attorney-General and the Inspector-General of Police.


According to Nairobi News, Justice Makau set the hearing for April 16 and ordered the pastors to give copies of the case documents to the sued parties before the close of business on April 14.

In the suit, the pastors acknowledge measures put in place by the government to stop the spread but argue that as the pandemic worsens, Kenyans will look to churches for solace.


They are protesting the directive against social gatherings that saw closure of churches, saying it was reached without consultations with relevant stakeholders.

The religious men also say the state imposed the curfew and the restriction on gatherings without consulting the church.


They said that if consultations had taken place, the public would have been sufficiently educated on social distancing and proper hygiene, peace, and unity would have been promoted and food drives would have been held for the sake of the less fortunate.

Their lawyer, John Swaka said: “The petitioners (and) other believers are in no way approaching this court in efforts to spread the coronavirus. Their sole wish is to congregate whilst adhering to the directive issued,”


He added, “The church’s role in such times is to give hope amid the crisis not only in this country but also in the world at large. They humbly seek the intervention of the court since their rights and freedoms are being infringed.”

The pastors further note that judges, doctors, and journalists are risking their lives to serve Kenyans and that pastors should be added to the list of essential service providers in the fight against the deadly disease.


The religious leaders note that their services can go on with those in attendance wearing masks and gloves and using hand sanitisers.

They want churches allowed to conduct services with leaders compelled to ensure members adhere to guidelines for curbing the spread of the virus.

The alternative, they say, is for the government to allow the broadcasting of services on specific days.

The case will be mentioned on April 16.


#Newsworthy…

Easter’20: Nigerian Bishop Urge Christians To Commit Selves To God.


Most Rev. Paulinus Ezeokafor, Catholic Bishop of Awka Diocese, has called on Nigerians, especially Christians to dedicate themselves to God and service to humanity.

Ezeokafor made the call in his 2020 Easter message on Saturday in Awka.


He said the prevailing global health challenge should not affect the faith Christians have in God and the salvation they won through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

The Bishop, who described the spread of Coronavirus in many in states of the federation, including Anambra as sad.


He said people should not panic but exercise caution and pray that the plague should come to pass.

According to him, I have absolute faith and confidence in God to arrest the situation because God is still in control of the development.


“We must accept the reality of COVID-19 pandemic and submit ourselves to God in prayer to enable us overcome the challenge.

“We have the opportunity to see what happened to our brothers and sisters, we have seen what happened in other places.


“So, we should be able to learn our lessons and do whatever is proper to get over this deadly disease,” he said.

Ezeokafor called on everyone to show personal commitment toward ending the spread of the virus by adhering to the guidelines recommended by government and health authorities without compromising their faith.


“Heaven helps those who help themselves, let us not take things for granted.

“There is this tendency among us to say no, it is not serious. COVID-19 is real and serious, we have seen it, when this is over things will return to normalcy.

“Let us not say we must do things the normal way we have been doing, it will not work this time, coronavirus is real, we should not take things for granted,” he said.

Ezeokafor said Nigeria would survive this challenge as it had passed through worse situation in the past.


#Newsworthy…

COVID-19 has reduced humanity to some level.


Bishop of Abuja Catholic Diocese, Ignatius Kaigama has said that the Coronavirus pandemic has reduced humanity to the same level.

“The disease has reduced us to one level. The mighty and small nations have all been reduced to the same level with all feeling the hit and unable to do much about it,” Kaigama said on Sunday, while addressing newsmen after celebrating the Palm Sunday Mass.


The Mass was celebrated in an empty Church after the few members that turned up for Service were asked to leave the Church following government’s order banning any gathering.

The measure is part of the efforts to contain the spread of the Coronavirus pandemic ravaging several parts of the world.


Kaigama, while lamenting the hardship humanity was going through as a result of the disease, said that it had forced humanity to see everyone as equal and helpless without God, the creator.

“The pandemic has taught us that we must come together to conquer the ills of the society.

“All nations, big or small, developed and undeveloped, poor and rich, have seen that technology cannot do much. Everyone is running from pillar to post in search of safety.

“Clearly, it is a new beginning for humanity. It means we must return to the golden rule of love and respect for one another. Above all, it has shown that God is on the throne and all must return to Him,” he said.

Kaigama commended the Federal Government for putting in place measures to contain the disease, but urged handlers of palliative measures to ensure they reached the poor, the hungry and the helpless.

He particularly advised those saddled with sharing items meant for the vulnerable people against the temptation to seek to gain from the global misfortune.

“It should never be about what we can gain from the situation. It should be about what we can contribute to the system,” he said.

The Archbishop also urged Nigerians to obey the stay-at-home order of the Federal Government.

“No one should dare the government. No one should accuse government of being harsh be cause it has locked up the cities. All the measures are for the safety of all and we should be seen as being respectful of constituted authority,” he said.

He urged Christians to pray for an end to the scourge, and urged those saddled with implementing the lockdown order to handle Nigerians with respect and civility.

“Security personnel should not intimidate people on the highway. There should be no extortion,” he said.

Kaigama commended the media for leading the fight against the spread of the virus, saying that the sacrifices of newsmen had made them a great asset to the country.

“The media has remained our great bridge, getting relevant and authentic information to link those at home with those on the field in the collective war against the pandemic.

“God will continue to bless the journalists and strengthen them in their roles of building a strong society fortified with the right information to make informed decisions,” he said.

The Bishop also prayed God to reward and bless medical workers who were sacrificing their comfort, and even lives, to give professional help to the sick in the fight to rid Nigeria of the pandemic.

He challenged Nigerians to trust and rely on God, at this critical time.

“Even though it is a tragedy, this period is also a providential one in the sense that we are learning to trust God and rely on Him more than before.

God has the final word not man, whether he be president or a well endowed scientist. Man cannot be omnipotent as God. If we served God partially, haphazardly or indifferently in the past, we must develop a much deeper spiritual communion in the solitude of our homes,” he said.


#Newsworthy…

Lady speak on what happened after she quit being ‘Jehovah’s Witness.’


A female Twitter user took to the social platform to share her experience when she decided to stop being a member of Jehovah Witness.
She said that particular move she made resulted to losing her friends, having bruised relationship with her father and more.

She said she was told it was the beginning of her downfall and more.

Read what she posted below:

”When I stopped being a Jehovah’s Witness, many people told me that I would never succeed in life, giving me examples of people who left & didn’t turn out fine. They said I owe my life to God for everything I’d become & that turning my back on him was d beginning of my downfall.

I’m not going to lie; leaving was very hard for me because the fear mongering actually worked. I got depressed and started isolating myself, and I was told that the depression was just a tip of the iceberg because nobody turns their back on God without losing their sanity.

I was told that if I didn’t come back, I had a lot more coming for me. And I kind of believed it. Because the only support system I had ever known in my life at the time were all Jehovah’s Witnesses. How was I going to survive if I left?

But I decided to sacrifice it all. I couldn’t pretend that I was happy to go to gatherings where every other religion was labelled “false”, where women were told that they were inferior to men, where gruesome stories were read out loud and normalised to the hearing of children.

It was hard. A 22 year old first child with 5 siblings who looked up to me. I had a lot of promise. But I was going to fail everyone. Jehovah’s Witnesses strongly advice against higher education because of rebels like me, and I had seemingly proven them right.

I wondered what the implications would be for my siblings, most importantly. Because they would no longer have a big sister to look up to. But my heart was burning. It burnt for years. I was basically surviving on antidepressants and I lived close to my biggest trigger.

So yeah, I let go of everything. I lost all my friends. Even lost my family at some point. I started life again like it was from the scratch. Building new friendships in a world full of wolves. Almost every single friend I have today were friends I made from 3-4 years ago.

It was hard AF. Kind of explains why some people who leave find it difficult to survive the shock. I wasn’t sure I was ready for what was coming, but I had to face it anyway. I just had to.

I risked being shunned, which would mean that every single person in my family (and in the entire JW fold by extension) would no longer talk to or communicate with me unless I repent and come back. I saw how this turned out for many, & I didn’t want to be part of the statistic.

Thankfully, I wasn’t shunned (though it might happen in future) but my relationship with my family, especially with my father who used to be my best friend, was severely bruised. What is left of it today is scars that I have to spend the rest of my life looking at.

I am certainly not living my life to prove anyone wrong. I swore that that would never be my fate. I’m just living. Doing my thing. I still think about all the dreams that I had to give up because I was told that my service to God was more important than my ambitions.

Sometimes I mourn what would’ve become of my life if I hadn’t given up those dreams. But I’m going to reclaim whatever left of it. I still have time.

It’s just amazing how fear is religion’s biggest weapon, and not just peculiar to JW.

“If you leave God, you’ll suffer. You can’t succeed without him.”

“If you don’t pay your tithes, you’ll lose your wealth.”

“If you disobey him, you’ll go to hell.”

So when I talk about religion, I’m not just here to rant. I’m talking from a place of anger. And trauma, trauma that I have to spend the rest of my life healing from. I talk from a place of pain. And regrets. And sadness. And rejection.

From a place of deep loss.

One day I’ll write about the heavy price I had to pay for turning my back on a place that was not good for me. I’ll write about this pain. I’ll write a proper story, not a twitter thread. About people like me who are still trapped.

But today is just a day for sad reflections.


#Newsworthy…

Fasting can’t make you prosperous – feed into it – David Oyedepo


Winners Chapel founder, Bishop David Oyedepo has warned Christians that one cannot fast his way to prosperity. He urged those who spend their days fasting in the hope of becoming rich, that such a thing cannot happen.

According to the clergyman who tweeted, the way into prosperity is not by denying oneself of food but by feeding on the word of God.


“You cannot fast your way into your prosperity, you feed into it through the Word of God”, he tweeted.

In another post, Oyedepo stated that one can be a Christian and still be in lack. This he says is because the person is failing to see what God is saying.

“God is no respecter of any person but of His Word. It is very possible to be a Christian and live in lack and want. Until you see what God is saying, you remain the same. God is no respecter of persons, He only respects faith in His Word”, he added.


#Newsworthy…

What Brought Islam? [History]


Islam is the Arabic word for ’submission’, in the sense of surrendering to God’s will. It is the religion of about 1.6 billion people around the globe as of 2010, according to the Pew Research Center, which also ranks the Abrahamic, monotheistic faith as the fastest growing religion in the world.


How Islam Began

It was in the small desert town of Mecca, located in what is now Saudi Arabia and surrounded by the Byzantine and Sassanian empires, that Islam emerged in the early 7th century through revelations that Muslims believe were made to Islam’s prophet, Muhammad, by the archangel Gabriel – Jibril in Arabic.

Muhammad began receiving revelations in 610 while he was meditating in a cave on the summit of Mount Hira, outside Mecca. Muslims believe that those revelations are the words of God, conveyed by Gabriel, and that they constitute the Koran, Islam’s holy book.

Muhammad only confided in his wife and close family and friends that he had received the revelations, and it was more than two years later that he started preaching publicly.

A Religio-Social Reform Movement
According to certain historians and religious scholars, such as Vernon O. Egger, Islam emerged essentially as a ‘religio-social reform movement’, as its leader grew up an impoverished orphan who lived with his grandfather, then with an uncle after his grandfather’s death.

At the time, Mecca was home to the pagan Kaaba shrine and the few hundred pagan idols surrounding it, as well as a regional trade centre with unequal distribution of wealth between a rich elite and poor, underprivileged families and clans. Muhammad called on the people of Arabia “to share wealth and create a society where the weak and vulnerable were treated with respect”, according to Karen Armstrong, who emphasized Muhammad’s social message in her book on Islam’s history. It is little wonder that the early believers – with the exception of a few prominent Meccans such as Uthman ibn Affan – came mainly from among the poor, such as freed slaves and those who belonged to lesser clans and families.

The staunchest opposition to Muhammad’s message came from his own tribe, the Quraysh, which was the dominant tribe in Mecca at the time. Muhammad belonged to the Quraysh’s Banu Hashim clan, a prominent but not the most important clan in the tribe. Scholars and observers have put forward various possible explanations for such opposition. Egger and Armstrong, for example, attribute it to the nature of Muhammad’s teachings.

Egger wrote, ‘Muhammad’s teachings were particularly galling to the aristocrats of Mecca. On the one hand, he used the traditional value of generosity against them and exposed the fact that they had betrayed those [tribal] values by becoming greedy and stingy; on the other hand, he turned upside down the traditional criterion for status, which was a prominent position in a powerful tribe. According to him, individuals with undistinguished backgrounds who submitted to God and His Prophet would fare better in eternity than the most revered tribal leader who rejected the new teaching.’

The renowned Montgomery Walt highlighted the threat Muhammad posed to the political power and influence of rich merchants: they feared that if he succeeded in attracting a mass following, he would acquire political power and possibly run Mecca’s affairs.

Their fears were eventually realized because Muhammad would indeed later control Mecca and all of Arabia. What’s more, Muslims after his death would form an empire that would stretch over thousands of miles.

Hijra: The Muslim Era Begins

Muhammad’s main protector in Mecca, his uncle Ali ibn Abi Talib, passed away in 619. Following his death, the Quraysh’s persecution (e.g. economic boycott and physical beatings) of Muhammad’s followers intensified. It was in 622 that the early Muslim community took a step that would become a turning point in Islam’s history: the hijra (migration), moving to Yathrib, which is today the Saudi Arabian city of Medina. Medina is located around 220 miles to Mecca’s north.

Islam had already started to make its way to the city by 620, after a group of its people came to Mecca and heard Muhammad preaching. Later, a full delegation representing Medina’s Arabs visited the prophet, expressed their conversion to Islam and invited him to move to their city. Vowing to obey him, they asked him to arbitrate in the city’s tribal conflicts.

The hijra marked the beginning of the ‘Muslim era’. In fact, the year of the hijra (622 in the Gregorian Christian calendar) marks the first year in the Islamic calendar, also known as the hijri calendar.

In Medina, Muhammad’s followers increased and he became recognized as the city’s political leader. He set about organizing the affairs of a new community, which comprised the immigrant Muslims (known in Islamic tradition as muhajiroon), Medina’s converts to Islam (ansar) and the Jewish tribes that were already well established in the city.

The Koranic verses that Muhammad said were revealed to him while he was in Medina focus on rulings and legislations that were relevant to his new role in running the affairs of a growing community.

Yet the city’s Jewish tribes were not always comfortable with this role. Perhaps, according to some sources, the Jewish tribes were unhappy about the new balance of power he created after mediating between the city’s tribes and clansii, who had been engaged in a long conflict prior to his arrival.

Some historians also attribute the Jews’ hostility toward Muhammad to the religious differences between them. The Jews did not accept that the new prophet was not Jewish. Muhammad, for his part, developed a more negative position toward the ‘people of the book’ (Christians and Jews who had scriptures) after the hijra.

According to many sources, members of Medina’s Jewish clans planned to kill Muhammad more than once. Muhammad expelled two Jewish clans from the city. Amid the Battle of Trench between the Muslims and the Quraysh/Mecca, and after the Jewish Banu Qurayzah clan betrayed an agreement with the Muslims and sided with the Quraysh, Muslims in Medina killed the male members of the clan and enslaved the women and children. This went down in history as a particularly controversial incident.

While in Medina, Muhammad engaged in continuous conflict with the Quraysh/Mecca, marked by a series of three battles, until his home town eventually fell to the Muslims in 630, following Meccans’ violation of the bilateral treaty of Hudaybiyah. By the time Muhammad died in 632, the Muslims controlled all of the Hijaz, the region that makes up most of the western part of modern-day Saudi Arabia.

Following his death, four of Muhammad’s early companions succeeded him in ruling the Muslim community, which would continue to expand to include Iraq, Syria, Egypt, Palestine, Iran, Afghanistan and more. These successors were given the title of caliph. During the reigns of the third and fourth caliphs, disagreements broke out among the Muslim leaders, resulting in civil war and the emergence of the Shiite Muslim sect as distinct from the Sunni sect. To this day, Shiites continue to play major religious and political roles in the Muslim world, despite being in the minority.

The Islamic Doctrine
Scholars agree on a number of key fundamentals that characterize Islam. They include, but are not limited to, the following.

Abrahamic Tradition

Muslims believe that Muhammad is God’s messenger, the last in a series of prophets God sent to complete or ‘seal’ God’s message. They believe in the prophets that preceded him, such as Abraham, Moses, David and Jesus. Most scholars agree that Islam belongs to, or is at least in general harmony with, the Judeo-Christian, Abrahamic tradition.

Muslims, however, claim that any rejection of Muhammad’s prophethood and teachings on the part of Jews and Christians is due to ‘distortions’ that accumulated in the Christian and Jewish traditions over time. The three religions have numerous key concepts in common, such as monotheism, the importance of giving charity to the poor, bodily resurrection after death, the last judgement, heaven, hell and Satan.

Tawhid: God’s Oneness

Many scholars have pinpointed tawhid as the most important concept for Muslims. Muslims are required to acknowledge God’s oneness as the only God (al-ilah in Arabic), which is why there are Arabic-speaking Christians who call God Allah as well). Allah Is the greatest, to whom all the virtuous traits are attributed in their utmost, absolute form: he is the most merciful, most generous and the most just.

Allah has no wife or offspring. He and only he may be worshipped. Islam strictly rejects all forms of polytheism and paganism. This particularly distinguished Muhammad’s message when he started preaching in Mecca because the Quraysh already believed in God, but they worshipped him through idols. Subsequently, Muslims believe that there is no religious authority (e.g. a clergy) between individuals and God.

The Koran (Quran)

In a poetic language and literary style, the Koran tells stories of the past and makes vows about the future, addressing Muhammad and Muslims at times and humankind at other times. It also lays out a number of rulings on how Muslims should live their lives and organize their community, and it describes God’s traits, such as mercy, justice and power.

There is a near-consensus among Muslims that the Koran is the word of God, delivered through revelations that Muhammad received via Gabriel. Many observers have noted that almost all Muslims around the world agree on the authenticity of the Koran, despite their differences and disagreements on scores of issues, both minor and major, and despite their divisions across sects and groups.

Many historians have also agreed on the Koran’s authenticity as a historical source on Muhammad’s life, even if they find it unsatisfactory on its own and in need of supplementary sources. Montgomery Watt describes the Koran as ‘contemporary and authentic’ as a ‘primary source for the life of Muhammad’, even if it is ‘fragmentary’ and ‘difficult to interpret’.

This on the Koran’s fragmentation can be understood in the context of the book’s division into 114 surahs (chapters) that were collected and organized according to Muhammad’s instructions, which is not the same order as the chapters were reportedly revealed to him.

Another historian, F.E. Peters, wrote, ‘There is almost universal consensus that the Koran is authentic, that the text that stands before us is the product of one man.’

Obviously, secularist and non-Muslim historians who consider the Koran authentic do not see it as the word of God, as Muslims do; rather, they consider it as a credible source for what Muhammad said during his life.


#Newsworthy…

NASFAT Says Muslim Women Should Be Of Good Behaviours


The Nasiru Lahi-l- Fatih Society (NASFAT), an Islamic group, in Lagos on Monday enjoined Muslim women in the country to exhibit good conduct at all times.The NASFAT Women Affairs Secretary, Alhaja Suwebat Kupolati, gave the advice in a statement signed by the Publicity Secretary of the society, Mr Akeem Yusuf, to mark the end of the Hijab Day.She also appealed to the government to ensure equal rights were given to Muslim women who wear hijab as granted their counterparts, adding that hijab wearing is part of Islamic dress code.


“We have always reminded our women to be of good conduct because we are all ambassadors of Islam and everybody is looking at us when we wear hijab,” she said. “We created hashtag hijab story on Instagram telling ladies between 12 to 25 years old to share their real life experience on difficulties wearing hijab. “We received 46 videos and three ladies were selected and given gifts to round off the world hijab day,” she said. She said NASFAT also visited schools across the country to sensitise the girls on the need to wear hijab. She said NASFAT would continue to sensitise the public most especially Muslims on the importance of wearing hijab. “It is in the Qur’an and we must obey Allah so we will continue to sensitise the public,” she said.

NobleReporters learnt that the hijab day is celebrated every Feb. 1. Series of activies to commemorate the event by NASFAT ended on Feb. 23.


#Newsworthy…

Emir Sanusi: We Don’t Beg In Islam

…beg government not individuals and relatives


The Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II, has said that begging of alms was not allowed in Islam.

The traditional ruler and former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria said this at the National Conference on Alarammomi (Qur’anic teachers) on Saturday.

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He also stated that beggars should direct their entreaties to the government and not the people around them.

He said, “Begging is disallowed in Islam and if you must beg for alms beg the government, not individuals or relatives.


“It is better for you to cut firewood and sell to earn a living than to beg.

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“Those who beg or seek assistance from individuals will be resurrected on the day of judgment without meat/flesh on their faces.


“And if you must beg, then beg the government not individuals or relatives. This is because they should be responsible for the welfare and wellbeing of citizens.

“Individuals, relatives or neighbours can assist you as gestures of kindness and generosity, but that’s not necessary.

The Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II

“So, those who are saying that begging is not prohibited in Islam are just misleading you,

“Programmes like cash transfer and many more can assist in tackling these problem. So, we urge the government to sustain the cash transfer programme and come up with many more.”


#Newsworthy…

Pastor invited for deliverance found dead


A pastor identified as Richard Ifeanyi Obi has been found dead in a room he was lodged at No. 5 Onuorah Street Amaenyi Awka, Anambra State, N.Rs learnt

According to reports gathered by NobleReporters, he had left his Warri, Delta state base for Anambra to conduct a delivery session on the family whose house he gave up the ghost.


Speaking on the circumstance surrounding his death, Anambra state police spokesman, Haruna Mohammed, the state Commissioner of Police John Abang has ordered for a discreet investigation to ascertain circumstances surrounding the incident.

He said:

“One Ikechukwu Uchendu ‘m’ of No. 5 Onuorah Street Amaenyi Awka reported at the Central Police Station Awka that one Pastor Richard Ifeanyi Obi ‘m’ who came from Warri to perform family prayers in his house was found lying lifeless in the room he slept.

“Following the report, Police detectives attached to CPS Awka visited the scene, photographed the victim and rushed him to the hospital where he was certified dead by the medical doctor. Corpse deposited at Amaku hospital mortuary for autopsy.”


#Newsworthy…

What’s wrong in that?; Apostle suleiman react after Adeboye says ‘My son don’t marry women who cannot cook’


Apostle Suleiman has reacted to Pastor Adeboye’s comment saying he tells his sons to marry women who can cook.

The comment from Pastor Adeboye telling men to marry women who can cook got so many reactions on social media and Apostle Suleiman has shared his view on the matter.


Well, here is Apostle Suleiman’s comment on the trending issue ;

Baba adeboye never said men shouldn’t know how to cook, he said marry a lady who knows to..whats wrong in that?.he has been happily married for over 50yrs.those talking are less than 50..who do we listen to?by the way,we are responsible for what we say,not how you understand it..


#Newsworthy. …

Toke Makinwa, Daddy Freeze blast Adeboye after saying Men should not marry women that can’t cook


Ifedayo Olarinde, Nigerian media personality better known as Daddy Freeze, has tackled Enoch Adeboye, general overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), over his counsel on marriage.

Adeboye had on Monday charged his “sons” to refrain from marrying ladies who can’t cook or do chores.


Joining the fray of people who took to the social media platforms to bare their mixed opinion on the matter, Freeze argued that women are more than cooks or servants in relationships.

“A woman is more than a cook or a maid servant. These in my humble opinion, should not be the priority when choosing a wife in this decade,” he wrote in a lengthy Instagram post, alongside a screenshot of the cleric’s tweet.


“Although a woman who can cook is definitely a plus, as @tastebudzng has proven, we have to be careful not to discriminate against women who can’t.

“Did Eve know how to cook? The scriptures are silent on it. She was flesh of Adam’s flesh and bone of his bone; not his cook.”


https://www.instagram.com/daddyfreeze/?utm_source=ig_embed&ig_mid=F754D286-5385-4631-BB51-B7E2F83DE100


Also reacting, Toke Makinwa, an on-air-personality, said only those who think themselves sons to the 65-year-old clergyman should be bothered about his controversial advice.

“When Pastor Adeboye says ‘my sons’, ask yourself if you’re a member of his flock. Are you his spiritual child? If no, why are you bothered? Let him advise his own,” the actress wrote on Twitter.


“If it’s not for you, jump and pass, my friends. I promise you won’t go to hell by facing your front. Cooking is not restricted to a gender.

“Guys learn how to cook so you don’t base the entirety of picking a life partner on your belly. If you don’t want to, make enough to hire a chef. Life is too short to be triggered all the time.”

Toke is known for her unapologetic opinions on marriage, lifestyle, and other matters of social importance, having accused African parents of “ruining the lives” and being “the world’s worst.”

The TV host, who once described herself as a “fan of separation in marriages,” had split from Maje Ayida, her former husband, for allegedly cheating on her after they had dated for close to eight years.

https://twitter.com/tokstarr/status/1229705524305956864https://twitter.com/tokstarr/status/1229705524305956864


#Newsworthy…

Pst. Adeboye slammed on social media


Pastor Enoch Adeboye, General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, RCCG, seems to have stepped on toes after he advised his son not marry a woman that cannot cook or do house chores.


He took to Twitter and wrote:

And social media went on fire as both male and female slammed the popular man of God over his comment…


#Newsworthy…

Lady says she was assaulted at Christ Embassy + her three children {Video}


A Nigerian lady took to Instagram to share a video of a confrontation at LoveWorld Church a.k.a Christ Embassy in Lachine, Montreal in Canada, which she claimed led to her and her three children being assaulted.

According to Anita Humphrey, she was allegedly assaulted for demanding for a written agreement for the balance of the money a Pastor of the church, Peter Enone owed her.

The lady claimed Pastor Enone told members of the church to throw her and her children out of the building for making the demands. She wrote;

“My name is Anita Humphrey. I and my 3 children were assaulted on Sunday by Pastor Peter Enone of Christ Embassy, Lachine in Montreal, Canada for demanding for the money they owe me.

He ordered members of his church to physically throw us out because I was DEMANDING A WRITTEN AGREEMENT FOR THE 10.9K$ CANADIAN BALANCE OF THE 13K$.”


#Newsworthy…

Update: Pope Francis decision to remove married priests turn Kinsasha


In quashing the idea of married priests in the Amazon, Pope Francis has appeased traditionalists while disappointing progressives who had hoped for a historic turning point in the Catholic church.

In his “apostolic exhortation” on the Amazon basin published Wednesday, Francis slammed the door on a progressive proposal offered by the region’s bishops during a synod on the region in October.


The synod had suggested that the way to solve a shortage of priests in the remote and inaccessible area was to allow married indigenous men to become priests.

Without even mentioning that proposal, Francis instead argued for more missionary priests in the Amazon and for women and lay people to take on larger roles, falling short of another synod idea to ordain women as deacons in the region.


The Argentine pontiff’s thoughts, coming after months of speculation and hand-wringing within the Vatican, were welcomed by some, including a vocal opponent of Francis, German Cardinal Gerhard Mueller.

For five years Mueller was in charge of church dogma, holding the key Vatican post of Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith until 2017 — when he was not reappointed by Francis.


Mueller saluted the document’s potential for “reducing internal Church factions.”

Conservatives within the Church were outraged by the regional synod’s proposal, even were it to be an exception limited to the Amazon, seeing it as potentially paving the way to the abolition of priest celibacy globally.


US Cardinal Raymond Burke, a staunch traditionalist, suggested last year that Francis would be heading into a “schism” were he to give his stamp of approval to the synod’s proposals.

Failing to reform?
But to others, the text lacked the audacity that has marked the papacy of the first Jesuit pope.


Francis’ document marked a “failure in the reforming impulse of the pontificate,” according to longtime Vatican analyst Marco Politi.

The pope, “abruptly slowed down” by a strong and multifaceted opposition, also disappointed those local Amazon bishops whom he had called on to offer up new ideas to help guide the Church, Politi said.


“Francis finds himself more alone today, having caused disillusionment among a notable mass of his supporters,” Politi said.

Key among them are Catholic feminist organisations, some of whom have been fighting for women’s access to the priesthood.


In his text, Francis cited the contributions of women and argued that their roles be increased, but dismissed the idea of their ordination.

Women’s Ordination Worldwide (WOW) said Francis had “dropped the ball” for women within the Church.


“Francis has opted to perpetuate the shameful elitist men’s club that, as he so brazenly points out in the document, is held up by the second class status of women who do most of the work with none of the recognition,” the group said in a statement.

Still, the issues of women’s ordination, and married priests, are not dead, some say.

The German Church, which contains a strong progressive branch, has just launched a two-year debate on top controversial issues, including the end of priestly celibacy and a greater place for women.

Meanwhile, Brazilian Cardinal Claudio Hummes, a proponent of priestly marriage, sees the question as still open, telling the publication Estadao: “It will be taken up again.”


#Newsworthy…