The massive destruction and desecration of Churches and annihilation of Christians going on in Northern Nigerians has been likened to the desecration of the Temple of Jerusalem by traders and money changers during the earthly ministry of Christ.
The analogy was made by the Apostolic Nuncio to Nigeria, His Excellency Archbishop Augustine Kasujja, Sunday 16th November 2014, at Umueze Ehime Mbano, Okigwe Diocese as he dedicated to God the St. Michael’s Church built by High Chief Tony Chukwu, a prominent philanthropist.
Archbishop Kasujja observed with grief that the persecution has so persisted unabated as it was in the temple of Jerusalem when Christ suddenly arrived, flogged and dispersed the transgressors with the command, “Take this things away” and retorted “Take Boko Haram away”. He enjoined the faithful to remain united in prayers that the good shepherd may take away the predators of His flock. He called on the perpetrators and sponsors of the heinous crusade to rethink and refrain from fighting God.
The Papal Nuncio conveyed the pleasure of the Apostolic Nunciature to associate with Umueze 1 Catholic Community, the Bishop and entire faithful of Okigwe Diocese, and profound gratitude to the “generous donor,” Chief Tony Chukwu and his wife Lolo Rose and said the dedication called to mind the dedication of the great temple built by King Solomon and invited the faithful to make a dedicated church a place where God is sought and found.
His Excellency reiterated that the church is not the material building made of stone and other building materials, but rather refers to the people whom God calls and gathers from all part of the world which constitutes the mystical body of Christ, composed of the numerous baptized persons of the Christian fold and charged Christians to remain principal witnesses of Christ who gave up his temple (Body) for mankind, avail the opportunity of the church dedication to reconcile with God, and added, “since the Temple of God is Holy and consecrated to Him, you shall likewise be holy”.
The occasion which featured a large congregation of Bishops, the clergy and the Religious, political top brass in Nigeria had as special guest, Her Excellency Dame Patience Jonathan, wife of the President.
Handing over the keys and other appurtenances of the church to Bishop S.A. Amatu, High Chief Tony Chukwu confessed to having received so much from God and prayed God to accept his humble gift.
In his remarks, Bishop Amatu was full of praise for the donor and his wife, all who assisted in realizing the projects, the chairman of the dedication Committee Chief Longer Anyanwu.
He saluted his brother Bishops present including Most. Revs Augustine Ukwuoma (Orlu Diocese), Athanasius Usuh (Makurdi) M.I. Uzukwu (Minna Diocese) V.V. Ezeonyia (Aba), Gregory Ochiagha (Emeritus Orlu), Other Bishops included those of the Anglican Communion present Rt. Rev. Dr. Edward Osuegbe (Okigwe), Alfred Nwaizuzu (Emeritus Okigwe), Andrew Ibemere (Sabbath Owerri Diocese) representing the President Christian Association of Nigeria Imo Chapter.
Special recognition went to the Chief Celebrant, the Papal Nuncio, the special guest of honour (Dr) Dame Patience Jonathan who in her speech saluted the wife of Imo Governor Nneoma Nkechi Okorocha, Lady Mercy Orji (Abia State Gov’s Wife), wives of service chiefs on her entourage, Senators and other Legislators including Sen. Ike Ekweremadu e tal.
The first Lady commended Chief/Lolo Tony Chukwu for their generosity. She called on Nigerians not to allow the peddlers of violence to scuttle Nigeria. Said her Excellency, “I am for peace wherever I go. Our collective efforts shall overcome all challenges. One day peace will reign in Nigeria”
The occasion was attended by politicians of divergent learnings in Nigeria.