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July 18, 2018

Christians Denied Land to build churches in the North – Mosques spring up in South, East

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In what looks like a deliberate plan to stop the spread of Christianity up North, State Governments in the Arewa Zone have continued to turn down applications for the issuance of Certificate of Occupancy, popularly called C of O to the Church.

A statement issued by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria (CBCN), expressed dismay that churches were being denied their right of expansion in the north, contrary to the provisions of the constitution of Nigeria.

“In the area of religious freedom of worship and conscience, we are saddened by the fact that many state governments, universities and other institutions of higher learning continue to act against the constitution. State governments in many of the states in the north continue to refuse Certificate of Occupancy for the construction of churches. We call on the federal and state governments to respect the relevant provisions in the constitution,” the Bishops said.

The clerics also expressed concern about the state of education in the nation, asking the federal government to reverse the decision to take over schools once owned by the church. They however commended the Governors who have wisely decided to share the burden by returning schools to their rightful owners.

The Evangelical Church Winning All (ECWA) had early, this year, expressed worry over persecution of Christians in the North. The Church’s president, Rev. Jeremiah Gado told journalists in Jos that “besides the pogrom targeted at Christian communities in the North, churches have suffered demolition, confiscation of property, abduction, forceful marriage, conversion to Islam of young Christian girls and discriminatory employment against indigenous Christians”. He said the church has also been “denied renewal of expired land titles in many northern states with threats by the Government to recover the land which the church has occupied for over 60 years

Two months ago Christians in Jigawa State cried out as the state government demolished two churches for allegedly building illegally. According to the state’s Urban Development Board the churches were built without obtaining approval as required by law.

However, the affected churches said they had applied for official registration but were denied.

Whereas these subtle discriminatory practices are happening in the north, we are not aware of any such occurrences in the south, as muslims are allowed to live, build mosques and worship freely.      “It is so easy now for them to acquire any piece of land in the South and the East of the country”, says an insider observer.


2 Responses to “Christians Denied Land to build churches in the North – Mosques spring up in South, East”
  1. Odogwu_Aganaga says:

    they’re right to deny Christians the land to build Churches when it’s better used for agriculture; because food has never been pulled down from heaven through prayer, at least, never in nigeria. even in this edition of your paper, most rev. kaigama is quoted as saying, very rightly too, that “prayer alone cannot save nigeria . . . .” religion has reached the point of hysterical delusion in nigeria. something must be done about it before it does nigeria in–seriously. the way to do it is to ensure that freedom of religion also respects freedom from religion. all this nonsense is already out of hand.

  2. Ahamefule Nnorom says:

    The CBCN is living in denial. It may now be too late; for its leadership has been a “water carrier” for various Islamic Nigerian governments for decades: By giving full and unequivocal support to the caliphate in its genocidal war against Igbo-Biafran Christians; by its refusal to engage in “massive resistance” against the gradual Islamization of Nigeria, especially with the introduction of the diabolical sharia Muslim law in Zamfara State in 2000, and then to several Northern Nigerian States. Is it not time for the CBCN to lead Nigerian Christians and revisit the sharia totalitarian Islamic law with a warning to the Muslim religious, political and military, “born-to-rule” elite: “Abolish sharia or we will support Biafra and the breakup of Nigeria;” indeed this is the only way for Nigerian Christians to regain respect among Muslims. It is time to end the continued coziness and even slavish “alliance” with AGIP (any government in power) in Nigeria, even though the Nigerian government had seized Catholic mission schools and has woefully failed to protect Christians and their churches from Islamic violence. And why is the CBCN opposed to the current Biafra Restoration Project when they know that Nigerian governments have historically been unable to provide Igbo-Biafrans the basic right of citizenship: the protection of life and property? Is CBCN unaware that Biafrans have the right to selfdetermination under the Catholic “just war” theory and various UN resolutions and international regimes? Why is the CBN-like the caliphate-so obsessed with “one Nigeria,” when they know it is impracticable and a mirage? Why are they not equally obsessed with the restructuring of this political monster when the problem with Nigeria is neither leadership nor corruption, but its anomalous and ungovernable political structure? Is the top leadership of the CBCN afraid to lose control over its “national” membership?” Why are most Catholic dioceses unwilling to employ their Justice and Peace Commissions to collect data on the victims of massacres by Nigerian governments and the Fulani “herdsmen-terrorists” and to publicize the information? Why is the CBCN so afraid? With its global connections, especially in the US and Europe, it is Nigerian governments that should fear the CBCN. And why have the Bishops failed to pressure the governors of the Christian States to stop the building of mosques within their territories -as long as Christians are prohibited from building churches in predominantly Islamic States? Or do the Bishops still believe that after decades of failed “inter-religious dialogue,” Nigerian Muslim leaders will now start to treat Christians as equal citizens? Is it not time for the Bishops to begin to understand that weakness and docility in the face of a militant and expansionist Islam will lead only to the demise of Christianity in Nigeria. Yes, “whoever loves his life will lose it.”

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