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Cardinal Onaiyekan: Christians & Muslims will have to counter extremism in combination – Vatican Information – English



Via Deborah Castellano Lubov

Cardinal John Onaiyekan has expressed "outrage" for the ugly homicide of a Christian pupil in Nigeria, and has decried the rampant violence and extremism within the nation towards Christians, and likewise towards Muslims.
In an interview with Vatican Information, the Archbishop Emeritus of Abuja lamented the state of lack of confidence within the African nation, attributing a lot of the unrest to dangerous governance and to fans, who give a nasty identify to the remainder of country’s pacific Muslim inhabitants.
In Northwestern Nigeria’s Sokoto State, a Christian pupil, Deborah Yakubu, used to be stoned to demise and set on fireplace after Muslim scholars accused her of alleged blasphemy. Due to this fact, as protests continued hard the discharge of 2 suspects within the pupil’s homicide, a mob attacked the Holy Circle of relatives Catholic cathedral within the Sokoto state.
Help to the Church in Want decried the scholar’s homicide and known as the degrees of extremism and violence in Nigeria as “completely appalling.” They famous that “hardly ever every week is going through with out information of kidnappings and dozens of deaths,” however that “this barbaric act leaves us speechless.”
Incessantly, Nigerians, together with clergy, are kidnapped and killed. “The rise in kidnappings, murders and basic violence towards civilians, together with contributors of the Catholic clergy in lots of portions of Nigeria, is an epidemic this is but to be correctly addressed through the native government,” ACN reported.
On this interview, Cardinal Onaiyekan displays at the tragedy, its roots, what may also be executed, and what’s continuously misunderstood. He additionally seems to be forward to Pope Francis’ 2-7 July talk over with to the African international locations of Congo and South Sudan.
Q: Cardinal Onaiyekan, a Christian faculty pupil used to be accused of blasphemy through Muslim classmates and used to be due to this fact stoned and burned alive. What’s your response and enchantment following this tragedy?

My response, which is the response of, I’d say, 90% of Nigerians, is horror and outrage as a result of that motion through any stretch [of the imagination] is totally reprehensible. Within the first position, the woman is a Christian. So in step with what they stored telling us, the Sharia legislation does no longer have an effect on Christians. So the Christians must no longer be judged at the foundation of any Sharia legislation. Secondly, even supposing she have been a Muslim, in Nigeria, the type of Sharia legislation that they’re working towards right here has in moderation eradicated provisions involving capital punishment. Thirdly, as lots of the Muslim leaders have advised us, the purpose is to inflict the utmost penalty [for the perpetrators]. At the foundation of blasphemy, it must by no means be left to mob motion, however to a correctly constituted court docket of legislation wherein a reliable pass judgement on will decide whether or not certainly it is a case of blasphemy.
Clearly, this has created a large number of anger and an annoyance, and it has made our efforts at non secular discussion with Muslims harder than it must be. I don’t need us to omit that there’s a silver lining on this complete darkish cloud, particularly the truth that nearly all of Muslim leaders have condemned the motion. We must no longer see this as one thing that has been executed through Nigerian Muslims towards Nigerian Christians.
[The fact that] that it’s the paintings of a bunch of fans which are within the School of Schooling makes it even the entire extra worrisome as a result of those scholars are making ready, to be assigned to head and educate kids in secondary faculty number one colleges within the villages of lots of our states. If those scholars have this sort of concepts, handiest God is aware of what they will be educating the youngsters in school, in the event that they ever finally end up educating within the study rooms.
Q: The new ongoing information of non secular extremism and persecution in Nigeria continues stunning the sector. Is the placement as horrific as it sort of feels? And is that this violence towards Christians going down solely in Northern Nigeria the place Christians are the minority, or does it prolong past?
There are Muslims who’ve their very own causes to hate Christianity. However I nonetheless proceed to insist they don’t seem to be within the majority in Nigeria. However whether or not they’re minority or no longer, they’re bad components in our society as a result of all of us agree now that Christianity and Islam have come to stick on this nation. We are living in combination all around the country, even within the North, the place we’re listening to about persecution of Christians. There are lots of Christians from the South who’re dwelling there and who’ve remained there, to not omit the truth that there are lots of indigenous of the North who’re Christian and feature nowhere else to run to. So for me, this is a query of governance, just right governance, the rule of thumb of legislation. And the place you could have a scenario within the nation the place these items are very a lot at a low price, then you definately must no longer be shocked that this sort of factor is going on. Sadly, each time it occurs, it feeds into the narrative of a Nigeria that I don’t consider is honest, particularly one that claims Nigeria is a rustic the place Muslims are persecuting Christians.

It is that method of speaking that does not assist us as a way to care for the problem. It’s my very own sturdy conviction that we have got noticed in relation to Deborah, it’s only when Christians and Muslims God agree and sign up for fingers to reject terror and terrorists and extremist positions, that we will have a possibility of luck [referring to the Muslim leaders in Nigeria who likewise condemned the student’s murder].
As it’s now, those that have been regarded as accountable for the homicide, ugly homicide of Deborah, were both arrested or declared sought after. We’re ready to peer how this legislation will take its path. In different phrases, the legislation of Nigeria at the moment is treating them as murderers. After all, there are a couple of Muslims who’ve pop out hailing that those younger males have executed the best factor, that it’s the accountability of a Muslim to kill any blasphemer. However those that hang this place are an excessively small minority. They’re very bad. Sadly, they’re those whom the general public are listening to about.
Q: How is the whole state of safety in Nigeria? How can and must native government correctly cope with this, and the way can Muslims and Christians paintings in combination to deal with this?
The issue on our fingers is through the federal government’s incapacity to put into effect the rule of thumb of legislation and its incapacity to make sure safety of the lives and belongings of each and every Nigerian. The problems you raised of kidnappings for ransom, killings, robberies, and a wide variety of very, horrible scenarios, are going down now in some way that they weren’t going down prior to. The sufferers are each Christians and Muslims. I dare say that the perpetrators, particularly of kidnappings and of most of these killings, are individuals who declare to be Muslims. So the Muslim neighborhood in Nigeria has an issue and lots of of them who’re honest, are obviously embarrassed that individuals who declare to be Muslims are behaving this fashion. Steadily one of the leaders of Islam will let us know that those that behave this fashion aren’t just right, aren’t Muslims. However we inform them, sorry, you can’t disown them. They’re Muslims. You’ll be able to name them dangerous Muslims, however they’re Muslims. If you don’t settle for them as Muslims, they wouldn’t do the rest to care for their unsuitable concepts and thereby assist us be able of fixing the narrative in those circles the place terrible concepts are repeatedly being ventilated and put into apply.  A few of the ones concepts are according to affect from outdoor Nigeria, from sure teams that everyone knows about, ISIS.. Taliban teams… Now with social media, other people practice their concepts and ideologies. However each and every just right nation, each and every severe nation, has stated we’re protective voters towards most of these other people, even Muslim international locations. 
Q: How is the Pope’s upcoming July talk over with to Africa for your opinion vital, and do you assume it will probably assist the dire scenario of intolerance, extremism and lack of confidence, even in Nigeria?
Smartly, Pope Francis, coming to Africa is excellent news for the entire of Africa, despite the fact that Pope Francis goes to talk over with handiest the Democratic Republic of the Congo and South Sudan. The reality is that he is coming to this soil of Africa and we sign up for in welcoming him. I believe Pope Francis has causes to make a choice the ones two spaces, particularly the truth that within the Democratic Republic of the Congo, he’s going to no longer handiest be at its capital, Kinshasa, however will move to the epicentre of the civil struggle that has been occurring in Congo for the previous ten or extra years, so far as Goma. Now that signifies that the Pope needs to position his head into the worst space of dangerous governance with violence because of managed militants. The similar factor we will say about South Sudan, an excessively unhappy scenario the place a country that that changed into it, that selected independence no longer too way back, has no longer been ready to position its head in combination to construct a lovely, tough and wealthy country. In each instances, we are hoping that the talk over with of the Pope will remind the political leaders in each nations that they have got a task to do for the sake in their other people and that even the Pope is worried.
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The Friend Who Sticks Closer than a Brother




The Friend Who Sticks Closer than a Brother

Embracing True Friendship: The Friend Who Sticks Closer Than a Brother

Friendship is a valuable asset that enriches our lives by providing companionship, support, and a shoulder to cry on. But have you ever had a buddy who goes above and beyond—someone who remains closer than a brother? In a world where relationships can be fickle, a friend who sticks by us through thick and thin is a rare and priceless gift.

More Than Just Blood Ties

Consider the tie between siblings, which is based on blood and shared history. Consider a buddy who is more than just a family member. “One who has untrustworthy friends soon comes to ruin,” says Proverbs 18:24 (NIV), “but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.”

This verse describes a friendship that goes beyond basic conditions. It’s a bond founded on trust, loyalty, and real concern for one another.

Continuous Support

Consider a buddy who is present not only during happy times but also during difficult times. This type of friend is unconcerned about changing circumstances or personal gain. They provide their presence, encouragement, and steadfast support.

Jesus expresses the core of such friendship in John 15:13 (NIV): “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. This selfless affection serves as the foundation for a lasting connection.

Journeys Together

Consider a friend you’ve shared many stages of life with—the highs, the lows, and everything in between. This shared experience forges a link that extends beyond surface-level exchanges. The value of companionship is brilliantly captured in Ecclesiastes 4:9–10 (NIV): “Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor. If either of them falls down, one can help the other up.”

A friend who sticks closer than a brother is someone who goes beside us through life’s ups and downs, lending a solid hand and an ear to listen.

A Mirror of God’s Love

As a symbol of God’s love for us, consider the buddy who sticks closer than a brother. God Himself offers an unbroken, unchanging, and everlasting companionship. “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord,” says the Bible in Romans 8:38–39.

God’s love is the ultimate paradigm of true friendship—a love that is not conditional but remains faithful regardless of what happens.

Conclusion: Value true friendship.

A friend who sticks closer to you than a sibling is a treasure to be treasured. This type of friendship is founded on love, trust, and mutual care rather than convenience or shared interests. May we seek to be that sort of friend to others in our lives, just as God offers us His unfailing love.

In a world where relationships can be fleeting, let us create friendships that will endure. Let us be the sort of friends who are present in both joy and sadness, who offer unconditional support, and who mirror God’s unfailing love. We are reminded of the beauty of true friendship, which clings closer than a brother, as we welcome and cherish these unique and valuable ties.

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The Just God




The Just God

The Just God: The Divine Balance of Justice and Mercy

The concept of justice is intertwined with the fabric of human society. We seek justice, responsibility, and reparation for wrongs done. But have you ever pondered a God who is not only just but also perfectly just? The Just God is a lighthouse of truth and righteousness, providing a profound awareness of justice and kindness that transcends human comprehension.

Justice in Pursuit

Consider a world where wrongdoers go unpunished and the disadvantaged have no recourse. The pursuit of justice is a natural human goal that reflects a feeling of rightness and order. And if we as humans value justice, how much more should the Creator of the universe, who is completely just?

According to Deuteronomy 32:4 (NIV), “He is the rock; his works are perfect, and all his ways are just. He is a loyal God who does no wrong, who is straight and just. This verse reveals God’s character, which is characterized by unwavering justice.

Justice and Mercy in Balance

Consider yourself in front of a judge who holds you accountable for every action and decision you make. Imagine that same judge showing mercy and giving you a second opportunity despite the evidence against you. The just God is kind as well as just.

This delicate balance is captured in Psalm 103:10–11 (NIV): “He does not treat us as our sins deserve, nor does He repay us according to our iniquities. For his love for people who fear him is as high as the skies are above the earth. God’s justice is balanced by his unending love and kindness.

The Redemption of Justice

Consider a debt that you will never be able to repay—a debt of mistakes and wrongs that weigh heavy on your soul. In His perfect justice, the just God provides a solution. God provides a mechanism for justice to be served and redemption to be offered through the sacrifice of His Son, Jesus Christ.

“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” says Romans 3:23–24 (NIV), “and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. This is an example of justice being met via the redemptive act of Christ’s sacrifice.

A Call to Justice

Consider a society in which justice is not simply a notion but a way of life. In our interactions with others, the just God calls us to exemplify justice. Micah 6:8 (NIV) states unequivocally, “He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. What does the Lord expect of you? Act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with your God.”

Living justly entails treating people with fairness, compassion, and respect, as the character of the just God requires.

Finishing: Adoring the Just God

The Just God asks us to comprehend the breadth of His justice—a justice that supports truth, requires accountability, and strikes a balance between mercy and justice. God’s justice and mercy merge in the person of Jesus Christ, offering us redemption and restoration.

May we turn to the just God as our ultimate standard as we traverse a world that frequently grapples with issues of fairness. May we seek His wisdom and counsel in order to live justly and treat others with love and justice. We find not only a paradigm of perfect justice but also an invitation to experience the transformative power of His kindness when we embrace the Just God.

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The Pleasure of Serving Others: A Pathway to Achievement




The Joy of Serving Others: A Pathway to Fulfillment

The Pleasure of Serving Others: A Highway to Contentment

Have you ever ever felt the nice and cozy glow that effects from lending a serving to hand to a stranger, the enjoyment that lasts for days after the act of kindness? That emotion offers a way of the pride of serving to others. The straightforward act of serving to can give us a sense of function and pleasure in contrast to the rest in a society that incessantly pushes us to place our consideration on ourselves.

The Want to Serve

Believe a society the place everybody labored to fortify the lives of people of their instant neighborhood. The need to lend a serving to hand, proportion a load, and supply comfort is on the core of carrier. The instance used to be established through Jesus Himself when he stated, “For even the Son of Guy didn’t come to be served, however to serve, and to provide his lifestyles as a ransom for plenty of.” (NIV, Mark 10:45)

Serving others is extra than just a nice deed; it is a way to emulate the compassion and love that Christ proven for us.

Discovering Pleasure in Selfless Giving

Believe spending time with the aged or going to a neighborhood refuge to hear their stories and cause them to really feel essential. Those tiny acts of kindness won’t appear to be a lot, however they be capable to make any person’s day higher, create relationships, and toughen a sense of group.

A better feeling of pleasure emerges after we set aside our personal issues and be aware of the wishes of others. The Bible admonishes us, “Every of you can use no matter present you’ve gotten won to serve others, as trustworthy stewards of God’s grace in its more than a few paperwork.” (NIV) 1 Peter 4:10 We specific the particular talents God has given us through serving others, and it’s in those deeds of carrier that we discover authentic pleasure.

Have an effect on Unmeasurable

Take into consideration the impact if all of us realized to experience serving to others. If we take a bit spoil from our tense schedules to lend a hand a neighbor, supply a sympathetic ear, or donate cash to a reason we reinforce. Small acts of kindness have the facility to unfold, sparking a sequence response of generosity and optimistic exchange.

In step with the NIV translation of Matthew 25:40, Jesus stated, “Actually I inform you, no matter you probably did for this sort of least of those brothers and sisters of mine, you probably did for me.” No longer simplest can we fortify the lives of other folks we serve, however we additionally perform Jesus’ command to like and deal with the ones round us.

Development Relationships and Connections

Believe the sensation of camaraderie that comes from cooperating with others to reach a shared purpose. Folks come in combination via carrier, growing ties and friendships that differently won’t have took place. It serves as a reminder that we’re all part of a broader group, and that group would possibly take pleasure in the acts we do.

Serving others permits us to peer the arena from many angles and to realize the demanding situations and victories of other folks round us. Our lives are enriched and {our relationships} are deepened through this sensitivity.

Conclusion: Discovering Contentment Via Carrier

Every people has a skill that is able to be opened: the pleasure of serving to others. It serves as a reminder that our lives are meant to be about extra than just our personal pursuits; they’re an opportunity to fortify the lives of others.

Let’s thus embody the pride of serving to others, if it is by means of deeds of kindness, volunteering, or simply being conscious about their wishes. The easy act of serving would possibly supply mild and hope in a global that every so often turns out overwhelming. As we emulate Christ and prolong ourselves in love, we no longer simplest exchange the lives of others but additionally revel in a deep feeling of success and enjoyment that overflows into our personal hearts.

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