Catholic Archbishop Tasks Christians on Unity, Cooperation
Catholic Archbishop of Calabar, Most Rev. Joseph Ekuwem, on Sunday at the FCT urged Christians to shun divisions in the body of Christ and embrace unity for national development.
Ekuwem made the call at the 2023 annual Lecture and Merit Award of the National Missionary Seminary of St.Paul in Gwagwalada.
The lecture was entitled: “Missionary Cooperation and Integral Development’’.
Ekuwem said the essence of the lecture was to reposition the Church and its members on its outreach and services to people within and outside the Church, especially in Nigeria.
According to him, the greatest achievement of the Church is not about structure and properties acquired, but consistent drive on evangelism and converting people to Christianity through words, prophetic impartation and counselling.
“Being Missionary implies bringing the good news of salvation to the people by preaching the proclamation among those who have not known Jesus Christ.
“People of God are expected to cooperate with one another in the exercise of missionary activities for an effective realisation of the mission of Christ entrusted to them.
“The aim is to examine the concept of mission and missionary cooperation and its theological and missiological ramifications, theological principles for missionary activities and apply them for integral development,’’ he said.
Missiology is the academic study of the Christian mission history and methodology. It began to be developed as an academic discipline in the 19th century.
Ekuwem enjoined Christian leaders and their congregations to always examine issues that promoted cooperation and better understanding among different denominations in Nigeria.
He noted that: “where there is unity there is progress’’ and stressed that Christians should walk together in love and purity as it would assist in national development.
In his address, Mr Hyacinth Ichoku of Veritas University, Abuja, said the Church, as an agent of peace, reconciliation and healing has to contribute in addressing the political, cultural, ethnic and other fractures within Nigeria.
He said theologians must begin to think of adopting the approach of social scientists, if they were to address fully, the limitations of human responses in the society.
Ichoku emphasised the need for denominations to jettison competition among themselves and embrace cooperation.
“We should emphasise things that will unite the Church and shun things that can divide us,’’ he stressed. (NAN)
New Moon: Sultan Declares Sunday as 1st Dhul-Qadah 1444AH
Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar, the Sultan of Sokoto and President General Nigeria Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), has declared Sunday May 21, as the first day of Dhul-Qadah 1444AH.
This is contained in a statement signed by Prof Sambo Junaidu, Chairman, Advisory Committee on Religious Affairs, Sultanate Council of Sokoto, issued on Saturday.
“The Sultanate Council Advisory Committee on Religious Affairs, in conjunction with the National Moon Sighting Committee, did not receive any report confirming the sighting of the crescent of Dhul-Qadah 1444AH on Friday.
“Therefore, Saturday May 20, will be 30th day of Shawwal 1444AH.
“The sultan has accepted the report and accordingly declared Sunday May 21, as the first day of Dhul-Qadah 1444AH,” Junaidu said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), reports that Dhul-Qadah, one of the four sacred months in Islam is the 11th month on the Islamic calendar which comes before the month of Dhul-Hijjah. (NAN)
Sultan Inaugurates Reconstituted Boards of National Mosque
The Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III, on Friday inaugurated the reconstituted Abuja National Mosque Management Board and the Board of Trustees of Educational, Social and Health Mission (MESH).
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that MESH is the project implementing arm of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA).
Abubakar III, who is the President-General of NSCIA, urged members of the boards to work assiduously towards promoting the ideals of Islam and support Muslims.
The sultan also urged the national mosque board to look at ways and means of funding the mosque’s renovation and development.
Abubakar said: “The national mosque should not just be a place where Muslims would only observe five daily prayers and go.
“But, it should be a national centre for the advancement of Islamic culture and education.
” We made some arrangements in the past but just that it didn’t come to fruition that we should be inviting Imams from other parts of the country, hold seminars and interactions.
” We also plan to be inviting other Islamic leaders from across the world to meet with the leadership of the Islamic community in Nigeria.
“Esecially our Imams, those who couldn’t go outside we will bring people from outside the country to interact with them.”
According to the sultan, the programme could not come to frution due to the paucity of funds
Abubakar said that it waz time to revisit the plan, adding,” we want to see how we can bring it back to life so that the national mosque will be busy seven day a week.”
The sultan, who decried that the Muslim community was far behind developments in the country, said, “the reconstitution of the two boards was an opportunity for the Muslims to rise to the occasion and hit the ground running.
” And as we are inaugurating these boards, we are also expecting a new government to come in so it is an opportunity to us to hit the ground running with the government to see what we can do together to help the government and ourselves.”
Abubakar implored Nigerians of all persuasions to support a smooth transition programme as peace was a critical platform for individual and societal progress.
He added: ” Let no one contemplate the disruption of smooth handover of power from the outgoing administration to the incoming one.
” It is my conviction that together, with greater commitment and patriotism, we can build a peaceful and prosperous country. ”
Responding, Dr Yahaya Abubakar, the Etsu Nupe and Chairman of national mosque management board assured that it would do its utmost best to move the mosque and Islamic centre of excellence forward.
The traditional ruler thanked the sultan for the confidence he reposed on him and other members of the board.
He said: “We appreciate the sultan for the task he put before us and I assure you that we are going to put in our best to move the mosque forward.”
NAN reports that other members of the board are: Prof. Is-haq Oloyede, Secretary-General, NSCIA, Yunus Usman, Prof. Shehu Galadanci and Malam Abubakr Siddeeq, North-East.
Others are: Mustapha Bintube, North-East, Dr Talmiz Usman, North-West, Umaru Karaye, North-West, retired Gen. A. B. Mamman, North-Central, Sheikh Tajudeen Adigun, North-Central and others.
Also, the Chairman of the board of MESH is the Sultan of Sokoto and President-General of NSCIA, Prof. Is-haq Oloyede, member, Dr Muhammad Dikwa, member, Alhaji Murtala Adeniji, member and others.
Earliest, Most Complete Hebrew Bible Sold for $38.1m at Auction
A book believed to be the earliest and most complete copy of the Hebrew Bible was sold for 38.1 million dollars on Wednesday in New York, auction house Sotheby’s said.
The Codex Sassoon “contains all 24 books of the Hebrew Bible missing only 12 leaves and precedes the earliest entirely complete Hebrew Bible, the Leningrad Codex, by nearly a century,’’ the auction house said.
The Bible, dating to the late ninth or early 10th century, has become the most expensive auctioned manuscript and the most expensive religious Jewish artefact auctioned in history, Sotheby’s said.
After a four-minute bidding war, the auction was won by a U.S. non-profit which intended to gift it to the ANU Museum of the Jewish People in Tel Aviv. (dpa/NAN)
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