Stop funding religious pilgrimages, theologians tell FG

Stop funding religious pilgrimages, theologians tell FG

SHARE

Association of Christian Theologians, at the weekend, tackled the Federal and state governments over their continued sponsorship of religious pilgrimages and programmes, stressing that Nigeria is a secular state.
The ACTs in a communique issued, following its 15th year anniversary and National Theological Conference held in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, particularly condemned government’s annual sponsorship of holy pilgrimages to Mecca and Jerusalem.
The religious body argued that the seeming nice gesture was actually at variance with the spirit and letter of the Nigerian Constitution.
In the communique signed by its National President, Prof. Kunle Macaulay, and National Secretary, Prof. Moses Ajayi, the association stated, “The ACTS advises that both the federal and state governments should respect the Constitution that states clearly that Nigeria is a secular state and as such, governments should stop promoting, supporting or initiating religious programmes.
“This particularly extends to the annual sponsorship of people to Mecca and Jerusalem with the tax payers’ money, whereas Nigeria, as a secular state, is not supposed to dabble into religious matters.
“In compliance with the Constitution, therefore, the pilgrims’ welfare boards should no longer be funded for the purpose of offsetting or subsidising the costs of pilgrimage to both Mecca and Jerusalem.”
The ACTS also noted that it was wrong on the part of the Bayelsa State Government to have used the state’s money to build a massive, non-denominational church cathedral and that, the Yobe State Government should also not have built Africa’s second largest mosque with the state’s money, as it did sometimes ago.
The body further lamented the growing poverty rate in the country, blaming it largely for the upsurge of criminal activities and various civil unrests across the country.
It thus advised, saying, “Governments should concentrate more on people-oriented programmes to bring to an end, the high level of poverty in the nation.”
Also, the theologians, in the communique, deplored “the constant harassment of theology schools’ operators over a so-called non-accreditation of their courses.”
According to them, Christian Theology is part of education that requires certification by Christian scholars and experts, and not by any secular government’s commission.
“Colleges and universities founded and accredited by governments do not offer degrees in theology because theological education is faith-based,” he explained.
“Moreover, Christian colleges that affiliate with secular universities do not get their theological education accredited and all their products are not allowed by the NUC to participate in the National Youth Service Corps.”
The ACTS, as a result, said there was no nexus at all between theological universities and the operations of the NUC, describing over-zealous officials of the commission as ignorant of prevailing laws.

NO COMMENTS

LEAVE A REPLY