A Catholic Priest in Benue State, Revd Fr. Gabriel Tyoga, has appealed to Christians across the nation to embrace love and forgiveness as taught by Jesus Christ even in the face of provocation.
Rev Tyoga made this appeal on Sunday during a homily at St. Joseph Catholic Mission, Nyon, Makurdi, in response to the killing of Deborah Yakubu, a 200 level female Christian student of Shehu Shagari College of Education, Sokoto State.
Recall that Miss Yakubu was killed over an allegation that she blasphemed the leader of the Muslim faith, Prophet Mohammed.
She was killed by a mob action after which three suspects were arrested. The Next Edition reports that the arrest have reportedly led to serious protests with one person reportedly killed and many others injured.
Revd Tyoga who described the gruesome murder of Deborah as evil noted that any individual/religion that preaches love but destroys lives and property is anti-love and full of deceit.
“Let no one deceive you that you can defend God who is divine, all powerful and all loving.”
“In these days of heated arguments over the injunction of a religion on blasphemy and the punishment that the religion prescribes. It may seem difficult to preach love to a world that has decided to hate rather than love. Lots of condemnations have been raised by leaders on both sides of the religious divide, many leaders in government have also spoken against the dastardly act.
“The murder of the Christian lady- Deborah is outrightly wrong and against the love Christ preaches. Christians have endured such provocations for long and thereafter move on but what baffles me right now is how a people are so emboldened in their quest for hatred that they will protest the arrest of the perpetrators of this heinous crime by committing more crimes; burning Churches and staging a protest that can lead to more bloodshed.”
The clergy who preached love and forgiveness said “God’s love is unconditional, universal, impartial, selfless, patient, understanding, forgiving and sacrificial and our life should radiate christ.
He said “Love brings renewal of our being but hatred can only weigh us down. We are invited today to forget the terrible experiences we have had with people and embrace love rather than hatred.
“Filled with love, we can endure pains, quell our fears, forgive freely, renew our strengths and bless even those who hurt us.”
Tyoga who lamented the burning of St. Kelvins Catholic Church in Sokoto state and the attempt at the state Cathedral, called on the entire Christians to pray for the repose of the soul of Deborah and asked God to console her family and the entire catholic community in sokoto state.