AFRICA/NIGERIA - The Bishops: "necessary to ensure the rights of all religions throughout the Country"

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Abuja (Agenzia Fides) - "Religion is a powerful social force, but it can be used for both good and evil. The role that the political system assigns to religion has a lot to do with the impact it can have on the nation, for better or worse" say the Catholic Bishops of Nigeria in a statement entitled "Religion and State in Nigeria".
The Bishops state: "our problem seems to be how to reconcile the two principles, seemingly conflicting, written in our Constitution, namely: (a) that Nigeria is a nation under one God" (b) that the Government of the Federation or of a State shall not adopt any religion as State Religion (Article 10 of our Constitution)".
The message points out that the adoption of Islam as State religion in some parts of northern Nigeria, albeit unofficially, through the policies supported by local governments, creates a conflict with Art. 10 of the Nigerian Constitution, and results in the discrimination of other religions to begin with Christianity, particularly in the field of law for the acquisition of land on which to build new churches and places of worship, and the lack of sponsorship of pilgrimages both at a federal and local government level. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 11/06/2014)