Emameh Gabriel in Abuja
The national leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), has condemned in strong term the attack on worshippers at the Redeemed Christian Church of God in Abule-Ori, Obafemi Owode Local Government Area of Ogun State.
The body has also described the act as an assault on religious freedom in Nigeria, and therefore called relevant security agencies to beef up surveillance to protect citizens from further attacks.
It should be recalled that gunmen had on Sunday stormed a Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) parish in Abule-Ori, Obafemi Owode Local Government Area of Ogun State, killing the officiating pastor and abducting seven members of the church, who were later rescued by members of Ogun State So-Safe Corps.
In a statement that was signed by President of CAN, Archbishop Daniel Okoh, the association also described the loss of 12 pastors (officers), a baby, and a driver in a fatal accident on the same day, near Benin City, Edo State, as a devastating blow to the congregation, the body of Christ in Nigeria, and the nation at large.
The statement read: “The attack on worshippers at the Redeemed Christian Church of God in Abule-Ori, Obafemi Owode Local Government Area of Ogun State, is an assault on religious freedom in Nigeria. We mourn the loss of the Pastor and condemn the kidnapping of worshippers who were simply exercising their religious freedom to worship. We commend the security agencies for their swift response to the incident and call for intensified efforts to apprehend all the perpetrators.
“We urge the various security agencies to increase vigilance on places of worship during religious gatherings and provide adequate security measures for worshippers.
“The CAN urges citizens not to be discouraged by recent losses but to continue to look up to God for help. Our thoughts and prayers are with the affected families and churches.”