Religious Leaders in the country have been called upon to come together and work with unity of purpose to achieve set goals.
The Chairman , Christian Association of Nigeria( CAN), Rivers State Chapter, Most Special Apostle Stanley Dimkpa (Phd) stated this in his Christmas and New Year message to the Christian community in the state.
He gave the advice in a chat with newsman during a one- day fasting and prayer and thanksgiving service for River State organized by CAN in Port Harcourt.
According to him, “it is important that religious leaders learn to accommodate one another and tolerate each other as every religion is an entity of its own”, he said. He further warned religious leaders in particular to be mindful of the information they release to the public and advised Christian leaders to share those privileged but classified information with the CAN leadership for proper handling, adding that if that is practised, it would bring about peaceful co-existence within the state and nation.
Dimkpa made it clear that just as the judiciary is the last hope of the common masses, religious leaders are also the moral and spiritual watch –dog of every state or nation, pointing out that it is their expectation that Christian leaders should stand firm and defend the truth at all times to justify the reason for their salvation through Christ Jesus.
“If members of the congregation are corrupt for one reason or the other, the men of God should stand firm as a church and speak out irrespective of who are involved ,” he declared.
He said it is important and necessary that Christian leaders in particular stand firm and preach the truth about the cross of Jesus so that people would be saved irrespective of their political class, social or financial status as according to the CAN Chairman, only the truth can set one free
Dr. Dimkpa also advised that Christian religious leaders should be able to promote unity, peace and love across the board through their conduct irrespective of Church or ethnicity, stressing that Christ Jesus symbolized unity and prayed in Gospel of John 17vs 21 that we shall be one”, he stressed. He said Apostle Paul emphasized in first Corinth 1 vs 10 that Christian should be united and speak with one voice”.
Dimkpa maintained that Jesus Christ was an epitome of love, peace and unity and so Christian should emulate him, adding that religious leaders should show good example as the light of the world always, observing that most religious crisis witnessed in the system are unfortunately caused by the utterances of the religious leaders.
The Rivers State CAN Chairman used the opportunity to congratulate all Christian brothers and sisters and indeed the entire Christian community in the State on the yuletide celebration. “I and who pray that the celebration renew our friendship with Christ and promote the bonds of unity, love and peaceful co- existence in our State, which have always held as together as a people united by a common destiny.
“May the reason of this celebration revive and reinvigorate our Christian lives and make our state better, a state where our creed, tribes, political parties and scheme of things, where equity, equality, qualification, truth and hard work are necessary criteria and condition for justice, promotions and appointments to all fields of life, where reward for good morals will encourage everyone to abhor evil, cultism and focus on doing what is right (Rom. 12/9), he declared.
The CAN Chairman thereafter on behalf of himself, family and indeed, the Christian community in Rivers State, congratulated the State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, his family and cabinet members as well as respected Rivers sons and daughters occupying, ministerial position including the National and State Assembly members, Local Government Chairmen, traditional and church leaders as well as the entire residents of Rivers State on the suspicion occasion.
Dr Dimkpa made it clear that as Christiandom celebrates Christ`s birth this season, they must avail themselves of its great significance and to soberly reflect on the selfless life style and cardinal teachings of Christ which he said, cumulated to showing love to one another and better service delivery.
“Such reflection, according to the Chairman, will no doubt, inspire and re- energize us for the challenges of a Christian that have one singular objective which is to make heaven, adding this I believe will make our state a better place and restore the glory of the garden city status and treasure base of Nigeria” he declared.