Tag Archives: religious

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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COVID-19: Pastor Tunde Bakare Send Message to Pastors over Churches lockdown. [Nigeria]

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The General Overseer of the Citadel Global Community Church, formerly known as Latter Rain Assembly, Pastor Tunde Bakare, has called on church leaders to donate buildings to be used as isolation centres, instead of continually criticizing the government.

In a broadcast shared by the church on Sunday, Bakare revealed he has donated facilities in Lagos and Ogun, to be used.

“Those churches with multiple facilities, rather than their leaders criticizing the government, should collaborate with them.

“They must be prepared to offer some of their halls to governmental authorities as isolation centres in support of the efforts of the government,” Bakare said.

Bakare’s position is in contrast with the opinion held by the presiding bishop of Living Faith Worldwide, David Oyedepo.

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Oyedepo has questioned the ban on religious gatherings amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

He claimed that the “voice of darkness” influenced the ban on gatherings in churches.


#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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Did Nollywood Actress, Regina Daniels dump Christianity for Islam?


Nollywood actress Regina Daniels has been accused on social media of dumping Christianity and embracing Islam because of money.

This was after the actress shared a picture showing her dressed in an attire that made her look like a Muslim lady.

“If nothing ever changed, there would be no butterfly”, she captioned the picture.

Some fans of hers who reacted to the picture expressed their displeasure as they alleged that she has dumped Christianity for Islam.

They also stated that their love for the actress which didn’t diminish when she got married to billionaire Ned Nwoko, has now ended because of her alleged new-found religion.

Doncyon1010 wrote: “I will unfollow you because of this. Imagine ntakiri Rgeina Daniels is now a Muslim”

Zeecyril: “I use to like you before but not anymore. Not because of who you married but because you denounced your religion for the love of money”.


#Newsworthy…

[Nigeria] CAN want churches be re-open after FG extend lockdown.


According to reports, the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has demanded for the reopening of churches amidst the lockdown across the country to prevent Coronavirus.

This was contained in a statement made available to journalists on Monday by the CAN Chairman, South-East, Bishop Dr. Goddy Okafor.


The CAN in the South-East said the Church should not remain closed forever as it remained a place of hope for the people as every other solution to the pandemic seemed elusive.

Going further, Bishop Okafor called for the reopening of churches in the country in order for Nigerians to cry to God for solution to this pandemic.


#Newsworthy…

LWKMD! Did Pastor Chris Reverse On 5G ‘anti christ’ claim?


Founder and president of LoveWorld Incorporated better known as Christ Embassy, Chris Oyakhilome has changed opinion on his recent claim that the introduction of 5G networks caused the coronavirus pandemic.

The clergyman had stirred controversies when he claimed that 5G — the fifth generation of wireless communications technologies supporting cellular data networks — was initiated to facilitate a “new world order”.


According to him, the coronavirus pandemic was created to instill fear among people in actualising the agenda, adding that the 5G technology was an antichrist initiative.

His claim had attracted several backlashes with Matthew Ashimolowo, senior pastor of Kingsway International Christian Centre (KICC) in London, expressing his disappointment at pastors who were dishing out false information with respect to the pandemic.


But in another teaching amid the criticisms, Oyakhilome stated that he was only opposed to the initiative because of its perceived health risks and the seeming silence of authorised regulators to speak on its advantages and disadvantages.

“I have to look at my calling as a priority and I’m into the healing ministry. You may be a pastor or a minister and not be into the healing ministry, this may not concern you,” he said.


“I’m a science and technology enthusiast. I love technology. Just studying the capabilities of the 5G makes me like ‘Wow! I’d like to go on it like tomorrow morning. I’d like to start it right away.’

“But at the same time, I’m into healing, I know what it means for people to be sick. I meet with sick people all the time. And so, no matter how interested I am in the 5G, I’m going to put health first.

“Are there health risks, what are the health implications? Those are my concerns and I became even more concerned when I found out that regulators didn’t seem to care much in looking into the details and the cause of the independent scientist and experts, medical experts.

“I would love to go on a 5G for hours if they roll it out but it’s important that all its health risks be understood and where there are challenges, it should be fixed. If there are health risks, they should be fixed. We want to go on extraordinary technology but we must also consider all the health implications. That’s my point.”


#Newsworthy…

As a prophet, I can tell you that Buhari’s days are numbered – Nigerian Bishop, Oyedepo.


The Presiding Bishop of Living Faith Church Worldwide, also known as Winners Chapel, Bishop David Oyedepo, has said the days of President Muhammadu Buhari are numbered in Nigeria

Oyedepo, lamenting the state of the nation, described Buhari as a bad leader, adding that his government is the worst in the history of Nigeria.


He made the statement on Sunday while delivering a sermon during the second service of the church at the Faith Tabernacle, Ota, Ogun State.

According to him, Buhari’s government had no direction and is like a curse on Nigeria.


“In my view you are bad and you shouldn’t be a leader. I have the right to say so. As far as I am concerned, I am a true born and thoroughly-bred Nigerian, an intelligent one.

“In my view, this is the worst thing that has happened to Nigeria, this government. It is the worst and in fact, it is like a curse.


“I led the first prayer and fasting for Nigeria in 1979, that tells you I am not a baby in the affairs of Nigeria.

“This is the worst government, a government with no direction. Their days are numbered. I can tell you as a prophet that their days are numbered.”


Oyedepo also made reference to the hate speech bill being sponsored by Senator Sabi Abdullahi

He went further to describe the bill as the most ridiculous and stupid bill anyone could think of.


The cleric queried the strategy of the government to criminalise hate speech while giving freedom to those who kill others

Oyedepo added, “The government in this country is making a draconian law – hate speech. They said if you speak hatefully, you have committed murder. Out of someone who says I will kill you and the one who kills, who has committed a crime? I don’t understand which kind of animal farm we live in.

“I said stop stepping on my toes and you said that is hate speech but somebody kills and he is walking free on the streets.

“This is the most stupid and nonsensical ideal anybody can think of.”


#Newsworthy…

COVID-19: Church donate life support ambulance to Rivers govt. [Nigeria]


In its determination to contribute in the fight against world health pandemic, Coronavirus, the Omega Power Ministries (OPM) has donated a brand new state-of-the-art Life Support ambulance to the Rivers State government to assist in the battle.

OPM’s General Overseer (GO), Apostle Chibuzor Chinyere, who confirmed the donation in a telephone chat on Sunday, disclosed that the new ambulance was received on behalf of the governor by the Rivers State Commissioner for Health, Prof. Princewill Chike.


The GO further noted that the gesture was in appreciation of the relentless effort put in by Governor Nyesom Wike and other health workers in the fight against the deadly virus in the state.

“By the grace of God Omega Power Ministries decided to support the state government because we have seen the great fight of the governor against COVID-19.

“We appreciate his efforts and decided to support the state with an ambulance in case there is an emergency somewhere.


“We acquired the ambulances for our free hospital in Port Harcourt and decided to donate one to the state government because the fight against coronavirus is a fight for everybody. As we are praying against its spread, we should also be seen giving support.

“The donation which shall be permanent with the Rivers State government is part of the Church commitment towards assisting the masses in this trial period,” Chinyere said.

He further assured that OPM will not relent in its effort to support government in whatever measures within its reach to fight the satanic epidemic that can sweep the earth of its inhabitants.

The General Overseer who operates a free Specialist Hospital in Rivers State admitted that the ambulance donated to the state was acquired from the tithes and offerings of Church members.


#Newsworthy…

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…

COVID-19: Pastor arrested after violating ‘public gathering’ rule in Abuja, Nigeria.


An enforcement team from the Federal Capital Territory Authority has arrested Pastor U. Uden, General Overseer of Jesus Reign Family Church located at Apo in Abuja.

He was arrested for violating the ban on public gathering imposed by the FCT Minister, Muhammad Bello.


The team led by Mr Ikahro Attah stormed the premises of the church and apprehended the pastor and whisked him away to FCT Police Command headquarters in Garki.

It was gathered that the pastor continued with the service to the end despite the presence of the team while the task force waited to avoid confrontation.


Recall that the FCT Minister had announced a total shutdown of churches and mosques in the city and also banned public gatherings as part of measures to curb the spread of Coronavirus.

FCT officials had on Saturday stormed a wedding in Wuse Zone 6, Abuja, and shut down the ceremony.

Nigeria so far has 97 confirmed cases of the virus and one recorded death. NobleReporters earlier report


#Newsworthy…

WCC urges Christians to pray at home.


WORLD Council of Churches, WCC general secretary, Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit and WCC moderator, Dr Agnes Abuom have urged people and churches to give highest priority to “doing whatever we can do to protect life” and “ask churches not to have public services tomorrow as this can become hubs of transmission of the virus” and to follow strictly the rules and guidelines from authorities based on WHO guidelines.

Tveit and Abuom ask the fellowship to reconsider their way of working. “We must also be particularly aware that exactly what we normally do, in community, is what we should not do now if we want to protect life. We value togetherness in worship and Christian fellowship. But in this time of crisis, and out of love for each other and the neighbor, we should not gather in great numbers together, if at all, nor touch or embrace each other.”


They added: “This is a time to touch each other’s hearts, by what we say, what we share, what we do – and what we do not do – to protect the life God loves so much. In that love, we must adapt our modes of worship and fellowship to the needs of this time of the pandemic, in order to avoid the risk of becoming sources of transmission rather than means of grace.”

Tveit and Abuom invite the fellowship to make the Sunday as a day for prayers for the most vulnerable people as refugees, elderly and people affected by COVID-19, to pray for the entire fellowship, and one human family worldwide.


Tveit and Abuom “commend to all of you the advice and practical recommendations offered by intergovernmental and governmental health authorities to help protect the vulnerable in our communities and others.”

In a similar development, a historic joint pastoral statement released on March 26, the World Council of Churches and Regional Ecumenical Organizations affirmed the urgency of standing together to protect life amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.


For the first time ever, all regions in the ecumenical movement around the world are standing together with a common message that urges both prayers and action for one world to protect life.

“We urge people everywhere to give highest priority to addressing this situation and assisting in whatever ways we can in our collective efforts to protect life,” the statement reads.


For the sake of God’s love, “it is important and urgent that we adapt our modes of worship and fellowship to the needs of this time of pandemic infection, in order to avoid the risk of becoming sources of viral transmission rather than means of grace,” stated the global ecumenical leaders.

The ecumenical leaders recalled, “Our faith in the God of life compels us to protect life” and continued, “Let us manifest God’s unconditional love in safe, practical ways that protect life, alleviate suffering, and ensure that churches and public services do not become hubs of transmission of the virus.”


The leaders of the global and regional ecumenical organizations affirmed that physical distancing does not mean spiritual isolation, and they urged churches all over the world to review their role in society by safely ministering to, providing for and caring for the poor, the sick, the marginalized, and the aged – especially all those who are most at risk due to COVID-19.

The general secretaries further stated, “People in many parts of the world have become homebound these days. Being homebound does not mean that we cannot experience a deep spiritual solidarity with each other, by virtue of our baptism into the one body of Christ.”


The statement suggests praying at home, giving thanks to God for strength, healing, and courage. “We can show our love for God and our neighbor by not gathering in person for public worship,” reads the text.

“Many congregations can share their worship gatherings online or digitally. Members and pastors can also stay in touch with each other and provide pastoral care by telephone.”

The novel coronavirus pandemic has reached all the regions of our planet, the text continues. “There are fear and panic, pain and suffering, doubt and misinformation, about both the virus and our response as Christians,” the text reads. “Amid stories of suffering and tragedy, there are also stories of simple kindness and extravagant love, of solidarity and the sharing of hope and peace in innovative and surprising ways.”

The general secretaries also urged all to consider the needs of the most vulnerable people in the world. “In the midst of this grave crisis, we lift up prayers for those providing leadership and for governments around the world, urging them to give priority concern to those who live in poverty as well as to the marginalized and refugees living in our midst,” the statement concluded.


#Newsworthy…

Nigerians react as Ogun govt. arrest pastor who had more than 50 members – say ‘Go and arrest Oyedepo.’


The Ogun state task force this morning shut down the Apostolic church in Sagamu, and arrested the presiding pastor for flouting the order of the state government not to have more than 50 persons in any gathering.

The state governor, Dapo Abiodun, issued the ban as part of measures to curtail the spread of Coronavirus in the state.

A twitter user who witnessed the moment the police stormed the church and effected the arrest of the pastor and sealing of the church, shared a video online.

Meanwhile Nigerians are asking why the same taskforce did not go to Ota where billionaire clergyman, David Oyedepo of Winners Chapel, held a service this morning with more than 50 persons allegedly in attendace.


#Newsworthy…

COVID-19: Muslims are naturally free from coronavirus – Islam scholar.

Muslim males should be allowed to pray in mosque.


An Islamic Scholar, Dr. Abubakr Imam Aliagan, has asked the President Muhammadu Buhari government, the Sultanate Council and Muslim authorities, not to shut down mosques in Nigeria over the coronavirus crisis.

Aliagan, a Professor of Islamic Studies at the University of Ilorin said on Wednesday that Muslims are immune to the coronavirus, and as such, Mosque prayers should not be banned over fear of worshippers contacting the deadly virus.


He said this while reacting to the suspension of congregational prayers at Saudi Arabia.

Saudi had on Tuesday stopped the performance of the customary five daily prayers and the weekly Jumuat prayer at other worship centres excluding the two holy mosques in Makkah and Madina.


Aliagan said that Nigerian Muslim males should be allowed to observe their compulsory prayers in mosques.

He claimed that Muslims have already been endowed with a natural immune system to fight coronavirus.


Aliagan stated that health officials advise people to wash their hands which Muslims do five times daily before observing their obligatory prayers.

He added that Muslim women already cover themselves and, as such, are safe.


He said: “Again, our sisters are always adorned in Hijab, some even use Niqab and gloves. So, we the Muslims already have a potent immune system against coronavirus. That is to say that we don’t have any problem.

“Even in France, I learnt that those that are completely free from contacting coronavirus are Muslim ladies and women who cover their face, use hand gloves and don’t shake hands with people.”


The cleric, who is also an Imam of a Jumuat (congregation) Mosque, noted that the action of the Saudi Government is in line with Islamic teachings on preventing the spread of an epidemic in any area.

He said the Holy Prophet specifically mentioned that if there is an epidemic at a certain location, people should not go close to that danger area or place.


“While those that are living there should not come out until the epidemic is wiped out. The prophet, by implication is saying we should avoid the spread of epidemics with necessary precautionary steps.”

Aliagan argued that the Saudi authorities’ directive is only aimed at forestalling the wildfire spread of the disease.


He said: “I don’t think the Muslim Ummah and its authorities in Nigeria should toe the line of Saudi by banning congregational prayers in mosques.

“The situation in our country is quite different from what we have in the Arab world or even at some western countries. The killer scourge easily ravages their immune system and body. However, I am still saying we should go along with what the Prophet counselled.

“Which is that we should not take epidemics or any killer disease for granted. We should take all necessary precautions. Any advice from health officials should strongly be adhered to and abided by.”


#Newsworthy…

N.Rs tv: Pastor arrested for holding service despite ban over coronavirus.



#Newsworthy…