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Anglican Communion marks 164 years of Christianity in Igbo land

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… CAN chairman alerts church leaders to beef up security 

By Chukwudum Ebele, Onitsha

All Saints Cathedral, Onitsha Inland Town and Onitsha Central Archdeaconries, joined other Christian faithful of the Anglican Communion, Church of Nigeria, as they mark 164 years anniversary of the advent of gospel of Christianity in Igbo land.

Also, the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Anambra State chairman, Ven. Joseph Nweke, has tasked church leaders to beef up security around their facilities, saying that enemies of Christianity may decide to target church services. 

The event was characterised with pomp, merriments, road shows, motorcade with gospel music and dancing, followed by motley crowd sharing gospel tracts and rejoicing because of the benefits of Christianity.

Speaking at the event, the Sub Dean, All Saints Cathedral, Onitsha, Venerable Samuel Ezewudo, stated that the advent of the gospel of Christianity brought illumination and civilization to Nigeria.

He said that before the coming of Christianity through Church Missionary Society (CMS), in 1857, to the South-East and parts of South-Southern Nigeria, people were in darkness.

“Our motto is ‘Lux Fiat’ (Show the light). The greatest need of an unbeliever is salvation. You must accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour. After that, you need transformation inside out to enable you live above corruption and other vices. Then, a Christian needs empowerment, character and humility to influence the society positively,” said Ezewudo.

The trio of the diocesan accountant, Ven. Francis Orah, diocesan legal adviser, Barr. Humphrey Udechukwu, and former President, Gideon on the Niger, Hon Barr. Chuba Oranusi KSC, in their separate speeches, noted that July 27 of every year, “is the day we celebrate the coming of the gospel of Christianity through the CMS and led by Bishop Ajayi Crowther to Igbo land.

“People were living in darkness, impoverishment and some were into cannibalism. Slave trade, killing of twins, devilish idolatry were practised before the CMS brought the good news. Most staple foods like yam, cassava, rice, and others like coconut, breadfruit were brought by the missionaries.

“The gospel of Jesus Christ brought civilisation, proper clothing, development through science and technology, education, hospitals and healthcare, just like Iyienu Mission Hospital and the abolition of inhuman practices. 

“Today, we have every reason to serve and worship God because we are beneficiaries. Some of us, our parents or relatives could have been killed because they were born twins,” they said.

At Onitsha Central Archdeaconry, Ven Isreal Odita, flanked by the Planning Committee Chairman, Rev. Canon Kperechukwu Nwankwo, after thanking God that diocese on the Niger was still blossoming with the gospel, admonished Christians never to be ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ which brought illumination to the world.

He prayed that the Gospel light should not be quenched in this generation. “Christians should carry on the great commission from where the early missionaries stopped.”

Meanwhile, at Inland town Archdeaconry, the State CAN Chairman, Ven. Joseph Nweke, after narrating the exploits of the Church Missionary Society, who jeopardized their lives to ensure that the gospel and civilization got to African hinterlands, tasked Church leaders to beef up security around their churches, saying that there was a security alert that enemies of Christianity disguised as bandits or gunmen were planning to attack churches.

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