OGOJA AUGUST 1, 2017 (CISA) – John Cardinal Onaiyekan of the Catholic Archdiocese of has called on the nation’s Catholics to win their country for Christ by proactively practicing the Faith.
The Cardinal was speaking last week in Oguja, where he urged the faithful to redouble evangelization efforts through peaceful persuasion and win souls through the example of how they live their everyday lives “of witnesses to truth, justice and love, who, in collaboration with other men and women of goodwill, can make a positive impact in our society.”
According to Cardinal Onaiyekan, the mission of Nigeria’s Catholics entails “doing our best to propagate openly the Gospel of Jesus and to welcome all who freely accept faith in Jesus.” This he said is “a mandate from our Lord.”
The Cardinal acknowledged that a contest for souls is underway in Nigeria, principally between Christianity and Islam.
“It is my desire to ‘Christianize Nigeria’ by all means of peaceful persuasion and conviction. But I am also aware that there are others who have a similar desire, in respect of their own faith. I, therefore, respect the right of those who claim that they want to ‘Islamize Nigeria,'” he affirmed.
He however cautioned, propagation of faith “must be carried out strictly with the rules of nonviolence, justice, freedom and sincerity before God. This is not only possible but also necessary for peace to reign in our land.”
Cardinal Onaiyekan noted that the fight for the soul of Nigeria is more than a contest between faiths for numbers. Instead, at the individual level, it’s an ongoing battle to allow God to transform one’s heart.
“Evangelization, spreading the Good News, does entail but goes beyond making converts and swelling the statistics of our church membership,” he advised.
“The Lord will judge the success of our mission, not primarily on the quantity and numbers of our membership, or the splendor of our physical structures, but most importantly by the quality of faith and witness of our people,” he said.