Easter: Cleric Urges Tolerance, Peace and Repentance

Easter: Cleric Urges Tolerance, Peace and Repentance
Irene William, Calabar
Nigerians have been urged to imbibe the teachings of Christ, which hinges on repentance, peace and tolerance.
The National Publicity Secretary of the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria, PFN, Bishop Emmah Isong gave the charge during his Easter message in Calabar, the capital of Cross River State, south-south Nigeria.
Bishop Isong, who noted that Christians were celebrating Easter at the same period Muslim were observing the Ramadan fast, described the time as a divine intervention.
According to him, the celebrations of the two important religious activities held significant messages for the followers of the two faiths.
He stated, “I do not know if you have noticed that for some time now the Easter celebration has coincided with the Muslim celebration of Ramadan. This is calling on our Muslim brothers to look for a new way of preaching that would promote peace and eschew violence; and urging Christians to tolerate people of other philosophical or religious affiliations.
“I urge Christians to use this period to project the true meaning of Christ death, which calls for salvation of all mankind; and that as many as receive Christ in their lives will be saved.
“It is for religious leaders to project Christ as the centre of their messages and desist from preaching traditions, customs and dogmas of men. We should reduce the politicization of religion and increase spiritualization of religion by centering the gospel message on Christ,” the PFN publicist stressed.
Significance of Easter
Speaking further on the significance of the betrayal, arrest and death of Jesus Christ, Isong, who is also the founder of Christian Central Chapel Internation, explained that Easter celebration just like any other celebration has been highly misconstrued, misconceived and misinterpreted.
Isong noted that the account of the death of Christ as recorded in Mathew chapter 27 represented three aspects of the lives of every human being.
He stated, “In Mathew chapter 27 verses 3, our economic life was encapsulated when Jesus was sold for 30 pieces of silver; in verse 12 our religious life was encapsulated because it was actually the chief priest and the elders of the church that betrayed him. Easter is to deliver us from just being religious and hypocrites to being real lovers and servers of God.
“In verse 27, it was the government – the political class and the soldiers – that finally nailed him to the cross. So, there are three powers on earth – economic, religious and political powers.
“These three were encapsulated at Easter when Jesus was finally nailed to the cross calling for repentance, and asking us to turn a new leaf and forgive each other; and live in peace with one another and stop apportioning religious and regional prejudices in dealing with one another,” he said.
He further advised Christians to avoid engaging unwholesome activities rather spend the period including the celebration of the resurrection of Christ in prayers for peace in Nigeria and the world.

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