NIGERIA. Niger: Christians in Niger state have lamented over the lack of Christians Religious Studies (CRS) teachers in public schools across the state.
In a breakfast prayer meeting organized by the Christain Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) in Minna, The participants stress the need for the employment of more teachers to help the students grow morally and in the way of God.
A Teacher in a Government Secondary School, Racheal Agbola said that in the school she teaches, while several teachers are teaching Islamic Religious Studies (IRS), she is the only teacher taking Christain Religious Studies (CRS).
“As a CRS teacher in Government Science College, I was the only CRS teacher but there are many IRS. Also, while in the college of Education, we had no CRS Lecturer, we had to pay the Lecturer who took us from our pockets”, she said.
Another participant, Apostle Favour Solomon said that there is the need for more CRS teachers for the children to grow up morally right.
He noted that the reason why there seem to be increasingly decadence among youths and teenagers is that the foundation is faulty stating that having CRS taught in schools would strengthen this faulty foundation.
The former Youth Christain Association of Nigeria (CAN) President in Niger state, Pastor Tony Nwachukwu said that due to the shortage of CRS teachers, he had volunteered to teach CRS in the public schools and he is ready to volunteer his service once again.
Other Challenges Highlighted
The participants also highlighted other Challenges they face due to their religion in the state.
They said they are being marginalized in the area of political and appointed positions and often not being given an equal playing ground in issues that affect them.
One of the participants, Adamu Thomas said that they are usually denied a ceritifcate of occupancy when they want to buy land to build a church.
“Most times, when you tell them the r ason for buying the land is to build a church, the refusal to issue you a certificate of occupancy becomes stronger. They give unnecessary reasons why you can’t be issued the certificate”, he said.
Christians Urged to Become More Active
The Keynote Speaker, Comrade Jude Johnson in his address stated the need for the church to build economic and political power to enable them to have the weapon of influence to direct the affairs of the state.
He stressed the need for Christians to be involved in the three arms of government adding that it is in the best interest of Christians to get it right before the election holds in 2023.
A Journalist who was one of the participants, Daniel Atori wondered how many Christians were card-carrying members of any political party noting that until Christians become involved in political participation, they won’t be able to have any say in how they can be governed.
A Youth Pastor and Journalist, Pastor Dan Amansigha observer that there is the need for leadership with sincerity and purpose stating that there is a need for everyone to be active for the sake of Christendom
The Prayer Breakfast Meeting
The Chief Operating Officer of the Christain Solidarity Worldwide, Mrs Teman Agera said that they were in Niger state to pray and stand with the persecuted Christians in the State.
She stated that the expected outcome of the meeting was to advocate Christian lawmakers and other influential members of the state to make laws and policies that would not only be right but would favour Christianity as a whole.
Giving a speech, a Christain Leader in Chachanga local government Area, Pastor Charles Amatu said that the meeting is long overdue because the Church in Niger state has been sleeping for long adding that there is the need for them to wake up to pray and act.
“Until we can take responsibility, things will continue to remain the way it is. Despite that Niger is one of the peaceful states in Nigeria, things have however taken a different tone because the Christians have refused to take responsibility
“We cannot wait for people to come from outside to help us, rather we have to do it ourselves. We must take our destinies into our own hands. “
The Representative of the Niger state Chapter of the Christain Association of Nigeria (CAN) Representative, Pastor Raphael Opayemi appreciated CSW for organizing this program saying that the persecution being faced by Christain is a result of righteousness.
About Christain Solidarity Worldwide
Talking about Christain Solidarity Worldwide, the focal person for the prayer breakfast meeting, Davita Andrew said that the organization is inspired by the biblical injunction to speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves and judge fairly and defend the rights of the poor and needy.
She explained that with the increasing rate of insecurity in the country, there is a need for consistent and fervent prayers for every Christain facing diverse persecution.