By Very Rev. Monsignor Livinus Ukah
The Christians who live in today’s world always bear in mind what Jesus said “If you want to be a disciple of mine, you must deny yourself, take up your cross and follow me”. The political climate at Jesus time was very intense and polarized. To work in a polarized world needs faith-filled people, strong like Jesus to help to dismantle social structures that dislocate humanity.
We know how the early Christians suffered in carrying the ‘’Cross’’ dying for truth and living amid mysteries of human life. They spoke eloquently in the midst of evil and alienation of people. Their concerns for the people and eloquent testimonies and lifestyles could breed explosive social discontent for those who want to remain the same in governance and continue to oppress the people. Governance should be therapeutic; heal people, caring for the people by making sure that there is peace and food in the land.
We must know that the church is superior to the state because its authority comes from God but the church and the state should work together because the church has special vocation from God. So the church and the state should cooperate to enforce more moderate, realistic and moral demands on the society at large.
The church’s divine authority is immense that it can coerce a government that lacks moral compass. The responsibilities that lie on the Christians are many and so they must first of all be just in their lives and must confront issues of injustices in the society. They live and liberate the oppressed. Where secular authority violates human rights and jails people unjustly the church must speak. Christians filled with faith must know that no power is allowed to violate human rights or is allowed to make draconian laws that upset God’s plan for his people .What is happening in Nigeria is atrocious, insecurity everywhere. Muslims should cooperate with the Christians to bring peace and justice to mankind.
Indonesia has the largest population of Muslims in the world but the live in peace with people. Why not us in Nigeria?
Christians are called to raise their voices against injustice in the society, eliminate injustice, reduce poverty and bring peace. They should make sure that people are allowed to participate in the economic, political and cultural life of the country. It is unfair for any individual to prevent one from participating in politics. Catholic Priests are not allowed to participate in partisan politics because of its duplicities but other churches allow their pastors to join politics but we have never seen them perform better than ordinary politicians in politics. We want people who can bring value to the system and create hope for the people.
Politics is not meant only for the elite and money bags. Human society must be regulated properly to have harmony and avoid violence. Security of life must be assured Christians must always use the Gospel values to sanitize the society to make sure that social justice is maintained. Seriously, the Christians must make sure they do not sell their rights to proclaim the values of Jesus at political positions but speak to power that the dignity of human persons is safe-guarded in the country for there is constant abuse of human rights all over. They should change the unjust structures as the early Christians did and not minimize the value of justice. Our faith should not be dormant and we should use our faith values to fight in the social world.
Christian faith can help to restore humanity heading to ruin. It can bring justice to humanity by calling evil by its name.
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