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Religious tolerance key to national prosperity- Catholic Bishops

Catholic Bishops decried the current economic situation in the country which according to them has taken a toll on vulnerable Nigerians. Photo: Samuel Adeyinka/Radio Nigeria

Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) has stressed the need for religious tolerance, sincerity and transparency in governance to ensure a better Nation.

The message was contained In a Communique at the end Second Plenary Meeting of the Conference.

The Secretary of Catholic Bishop Conference of Nigeria, Archbishop Donatus Ogun said from time memorial, Religion has contributed immensely to the building and sustaining of nations and empires as it has done socialization processes, both formal and informal, societal integration and social control.

The Communique emphasizes the importance of ensuring mutual understanding and tolerance among the adherents of the three Major Religions In the country.

The Communique reads in part; “In Nigeria, we have three main religions: Christianity, Islam and African Traditional Religion. These religions have enjoyed mutual co-existence over time and agree on the sacredness of human life, moral uprightness, justice for all, especially for the poor and the vulnerable, respect for elders and those in authority, and many other common values.

True as the above is, religion has had its share of negative impact on some nations, especially in multi-ethnic and diverse cultures. In our country, religion is sometimes unfortunately used as a tool and justification for violence, oppression, division and manipulation.

It therefore calls for a return to the true value of religion as a positive force in rebuilding the nation.”

On the 2023 General Election, the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria applauded the doggedness of the electorates for massive participation in the poll but alleged that the conduct of the elections was marred by many pitfalls and irregularities as reported by both local and Foreign observers.

The CBCN stressed the need to contain Insecurity at the sub-region, and the Country at large and called on the governments at all level to stand up to their primary responsibility of safeguarding lives and property of Nigerians.

They equally encouraged the leadership of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the African Union (AU) to continue to embrace dialogue and negotiation as a solution to the crises of leadership in some African countries.

Writing by Samuel Adeyinka; Editing by Oluwaseyi Ajibade and Daniel Adejo