Feature on marriages between Christians and Muslims in Nigeria. Such marriages are actually common and used to be uncontroversial. However politics and wider controversies in society have suddenly put such marriages on edge.
A look at the rise of pentecostal African churches in England such as the Redeemed Christian Church of God and Kingsway International Christian Centre.
Survivors of Boko Haram attacks give terrifying testimony of their ordeal. One of them is Adamu Habila, who survived a Boko Haram attack and being shot in the head. Adamu was shot for refusing to renounce his Christian faith.
The second survivor is 15 year old Deborah Peter from Chibok. She survived a Boko Haram attack on her home in Chibok. Her father (a pastor) and brother were attacked in front of her in her home.
The Chibok schoolgirls’ abduction and forced conversions to Islam are not new. Boko Haram has been kidnapping young women and girls as “slave brides” for some time and forcing them to convert to Islam. Thus the “conversion video” that Boko Haram released last week should be seen as part of its normal modus operandi rather than a new tactic.
Interesting film about Igbos that claim to be Jewish (claiming descent from one of the 12 “lost tribes of Israel”. They practise Judaism, rather than Igbos’ traditional Christianity. However not everyone believes this claims, with some alleging it is just a myth.
Excellent piece in the Economist about Nigeria’s culture of celebrity mega-rich pastors and mega-churches. Preachers such as TB Joshua and David Oyedopo are household names with Forbes estimating the latter’s wealth at $150 million.
Churches and prayer are big business in Nigeria, and it is common for church members to pay 10% of their salary in tithes to the church every week. The mega-churches are like corporations and have their own broadcasting facilities, overseas offices, TV stations and PR machines. Faith Tabernacle and Christ’s Embassy are expanding into Ghana, Liberia, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
It is odd that Christian preachers are rich in a religion started by a poor carpenter’s son born in a manger…
The rise of prosperity preaching has to be contextualised against the background of Nigerian society where spectacular wealth disparities exist with millionaires living next door to peasants, and people seeking get rich quick schemes at every opportunity. In seeking wealth – the churches and congregation have the same goal…
“Prosperity churches” are big business in Nigeria and some of Nigeria’s preachers are among the country’s richest and most famous people. Celebrities in their own right with private jets and fleets of luxury cars and mansions.
Two bomb blasts have been reported during Christmas service in Nigeria. The first blast was near at a Catholic church near the Nigerian capital Abuja. Reports say about 20 people were killed.
The first blast was near St Theresa’s Church in Madalla. A second explosion struck the Mountain of Fire Ministries church in the city of Jos.
Attention will inevitably be focused on Boko Haram. Were they responsible for the latest bomb blasts?
I thought I’d conclude the weekend with two interviews with army officers from very different generations. The first one is with Lt-General Jerry Useni (rtd), the former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory in the Abacha regime. Useni was Abacha’s right hand man and a close friend of his. In this interview, Useni claims that the January 1966 coup was an Igbo coup, and that Abacha could have killed former President Obasanjo if he wished.
The second interview is with Major-General Saleh Maina, GOC of the 3 armoured division of the army in Jos. Maina has been under intense criticism recently, and was accused by Christians of pro-Muslim bias in his handling of the recent Jos religious violence, and of ignoring text message warnings about the violence. Here, Maina conducts a very robust defence of himself and gives a detailed account of the Jos violence.