After two and a half months of waiting, 83-year old Alba Fiore eagerly pulled down her mask to receive communion at a church in Rome Monday.
“Finally!” she said with a gratified sigh.
This was the first religious ceremony at the Church of Santa Maria in Traspontina, a stone’s throw from the Vatican, since Italy went into lockdown.
“I feel relieved,” said pensioner Antonio Butera, a fellow Catholic.
“After two months without being able to attend a mass other than the one on television, it’s a great day for me.”
Religious ceremonies were authorised in the 25,000 parishes across the country from Monday — provided the fonts for holy water were empty and visitors followed strict social distancing rules.
The faithful have been warned repeatedly that a failure to adhere to sanitary protocols could spark a second wave of the pandemic that has claimed around 32,000 lives, 120 priests among them.
The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has cautioned mosque authorities in Nigeria against the reopening of mosques.
The MURIC Director, Prof. Ishaq Akintola, made the call on Monday in a statement against the reopening of mosques on the orders of the state governments in Borno, Gombe and Zamfara states.
“There are reports that some state governments have given the green light for the opening of mosques.
“This may not be wise enough.
“We must be on the side of caution regarding this dangerous virus whose cure has not been found.
“Muslims should not rush to their graves.
“We suggest that mosques should remain closed until the Federal Government declares the country safe from the pandemic. We know that lockdown hurts. But so does it hurt everywhere else. We urge Muslims to exercise patience. Those who die can never be seen again. Neither can they be part of a safer and better Nigerian society when the lockdown is finally lifted. We must join hands with the rest of humanity to defeat COVID-19. No single community, group or country can fight the battle alone,” Akintola said.
According to him, reopening mosques at this time can be interpreted as withdrawing from the battlefield and leaving the rest of the country to face the fight alone and may also be interpreted as disobedience to FG’s restriction on crowding.
He added, “MURIC reminds the governments and people of Borno, Gombe and Zamfara states whose population is predominantly Muslim of Allah-given fundamental right to life. This right should not be violated through any hasty yet wrongful policy decision.
“The pattern of congregating in mosques may even be more prone to infections than some other places. Unlike others who assemble for worship once in a week or once in a year, Muslims congregate five times daily for the five daily prayers, once weekly for jumu’ah prayer and twice annually for the festivals. It is noteworthy that the last three draw mammoth crowds. Our prostration where all heads touch the ground simultaneously and rise together gives cause for concern about the likelihood of one worshipper breathing almost directly into another’s nostrils. A pragmatic and realistic approach is therefore necessary on the issue of reopening of mosques. It is bad enough that there is fire on the mountain. But it may be worse if we use our hands to draw the fire to our rooftops.
“It is therefore our considered opinion that the authorities in the three states (Borno, Gombe and Zamfara) should reconsider their decisions particularly before the Id al-fitr festival prayer which is fast approaching. We remind the three states that the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) had advised Muslims against congregations until further notice. We therefore suggest that the leadership of the Nigerian Muslim community, namely, the Sultan of Sokoto and President-General of the NSCIA should be consulted before the decision to reopen mosques can be implemented.”
TRAGEDY IN CHURCH, Popular Nigerian Socialite, Dies After Being Doused With Perfume Spray, At A Lagos Celestial Church
It’s a shocking tragedy in a Celestial Church in Lagos as a popular socialite has reportedly died at a hospital in Gbagada, Lagos, after his body was on fire during a programme and prayer session in the Church.
The socialite who was reported to be named Kayode Badru
allegedly met an untimely death while praying in the middle of burning candles in the church.
Reports say he died on Wednesday, May 5, 2021. Before his death, Badru had landed in Lagos from Dubai to attend the graduation ceremony of 40 students he gave scholarships to study at Academy For Innovative Art and Technology, (ACIATECH).
He was said to have visited his church on Wednesday for Isegun – (Victory) programme, after attending the graduation ceremony.
Badru was asked to kneel down at the middle of the church and was surrounded with white candles. He also held one candle in his hands.
While kneeling down, a prophet began to spray perfume on his body and within a few minutes, his body was on fire due to his closeness to the candles and strong attraction from the perfume.
He was said to have been rushed to a hospital in Gbagada, where he eventually died.
It is well, Pastor Adeboye breaks silence on son’s death
General Overseer of The Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) Pastor Enoch Adeboye on Friday night broke his silence after the demise of his son, Dare Adeboye.
The Nation reports Dare, 42, died in his sleep on Tuesday, May 4 in Eket, Akwa-Ibom where he was pastoring a church.
Many prominent personalities have continued to pay glowing tributes to the deceased.
Adeboye, who preached at the May 2021 edition of the church’s Holy Ghost service, urged everyone to always thank God and say ‘It is well’ even in the face of crises rather than ‘blame and question God’.
The programme which was monitored by The Nation observed that Adeboye spoke from the studio of the church’s station – DOVE Media – alongside few officials including his wife, Folu Adeboye, while members of his church gathered at the auditorium along the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway.
He said: “Whatever we have is given to us by God, be it wealth, wife, husband, children e.t.c and if it got taken away by God, all we can do is give God glory for actually giving us the privilege to enjoy those wealth or kids temporarily and it is not for us to complain, blame and question God.”
With biblical reference to Ezekiel 24:16, he said, “God took away Ezekiel’s wife and asked him not to mourn over her”.
“What we see as sorrows might be joy in the sight of God, I mean His ways and thoughts are not the same with ours, we shouldn’t forget that both good and bad happen at God’s command. (Lamentations 3:38).
“Finally in all things let’s learn to say thank you father and It is well. God bless all of you in Jesus’ name,” Adeboye said.
The RCCG overseer further stated that peace is one of the blessings only God can give saying “There is a peace that passes human understanding. It is only God that can give that peace. I thank God that I have that peace.”
Adeboye also allayed fears on over possibility of a third wave of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Nigeria, saying it was due to the prayers of Christians that COVID-19 did not take a detrimental dimension.
“Don’t listen to any person who says it is by their own wisdom that coronavirus is now subdued in Nigeria. It is because you prayed. You asked God for mercy, and God heard and in the mighty name of Jesus, there will be no third wave.
“But, I want to encourage you that you need to pray again. We have problems of many kinds in Nigeria so very soon; you might be summoned to pray again.
“We need to pray against all the problems we are facing, and God will answer when we pray,” Adeboye said.
2023: There are satanic plans against us – APC
The All Progressives Congress (APC) has accused some persons of “satanic plans” against the ruling party ahead of 2023.
The APC raised the alarm after a report on alleged bickering involving Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, and National Caretaker Chairman and Yobe Governor, Mai Buni.
The chieftains were accused of disagreement over who will occupy the seat of the President after the next general elections.
In a statement on Friday, Buni’s spokesman, Mamman Mohammed insists there is no conflict, adding that claim was false.
Mohammed said “the satanic plans being orchestrated by mischievous elements” were meant to distract the APC leadership and discredit the President Muhammadu Buhari led government.
“They (Lawan and Buni) have remained good brothers in a very good relationship with a common goal of contributing to the development of their state, party and country.”
Mohammed said his principal was preoccupied with the task of governance of his state and rebuilding the party.
He noted that any member canvassing for the top political office, two years into the tenure of a sitting President, was engaging in insubordination.
Mohammed added that Buhari has two more years to complete his tenure and must be supported to succeed.
“It is compulsory for the party and every loyal member to support him and the APC administration. We cannot contemplate anything outside the set plans of the party”, the statement read.
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