Second, Bishop Kukah says, Christians need to look at the challenging times as an opportunity to witness the Gospel.
“We are in a nation with competing and even conflicting identities and theologies. Some believe in a form of theocracy while others come from a tradition of separation of Church and State. Either way, the challenge for Christians is to see crises, conflicts as opportunities to witness the Gospel,” Bishop Kukah says.
He explains, “Apart from prophetic witnessing by proclamation of the message of Jesus Christ, that is, a message of non-violence, there are symbolisms that Churches can adopt. An example is public call to Prayer or renewed spirituality. This can be in the form of set days for prayers and fasting or both.”
Thirdly, the Bishop Chairman of Dialogue and Mission at CBCN says the people of God can pay solidarity visits to areas of conflict.
“This solidarity can be expressed by rallying resources as it was in the days of the Apostles to support the Churches in difficulties,” he says, adding that this kind of public witnessing is important because it always gives believers an opportunity to share with the less fortunate across faiths.
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Through solidarity visits to areas of conflict, “non-believers can see the meaning of our faith,” says Bishop Kukah.
To salvage Nigeria’s situation, the Nigerian Bishop also suggests that Christians “open up our understanding of what constitutes insecurity beyond being victims of physical violence.”
“It is important for us to note that indeed, hunger, injustice, poverty, squalor, all that deface the face of a human being created in the image and likeness of Jesus Christ, are all manifestations of violence,” Bishop Kukah observes.
He adds in the message he delivered at the 120th Founder’s Day Anniversary of the African Church, “Our fight for a good society therefore does not end as long as there are hungry and poor people, as long as there are fellow citizens who are living below the standards of human existence.”
Magdalene Kahiu is a Kenyan journalist with passion in Church communication. She holds a Degree in Social Communications from the Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA). Currently, she works as a journalist for ACI Africa.