Catholic Bishops oppose Bill for FG's control of Christian education - NEWS FRONTIER DAILY


Thursday, June 29, 2023

Catholic Bishops oppose Bill for FG's control of Christian education

The Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) has raised objections against the proposed Bill for the establishment of a National Council for Christian Education. 

The details of this opposition were made available to journalists through a position paper released in Abuja by the Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria. 

In the document jointly signed by Lucius Ugorji, the Archbishop of Owerri and President of CBCN, and Donatus Ogun, the Bishop of Uromi and Secretary of CBCN, the Catholic Bishops expressed concerns that the proposed National Council for Christian Education, as stated in Bill no. HB. 2177, would infringe upon the autonomy of various Christian denominations in Nigeria to provide religious education according to their doctrines. 

The Bill was initially put forth by Hon. Rimamde Shawulu Kwewum, Hon. Beni Lar, Hon. Yusuf Ayo Tajudeen, Hon. John Dyegh, Hon. Solomon Bob, and Hon. Benjamin Mzondu.

"The Bill poses a threat to the religious freedom as enshrined in our constitution. It disregards the fundamental differences among over a thousand Christian denominations in Nigeria," stated the Catholic Bishops

The CBCN also raised the issue of potential government intervention in religious matters, as the Bill proposes the establishment of a government board to regulate Christian education, whose members would be appointed by the President of Nigeria. 

"The fear cannot be dismissed of having people appointed who may not necessarily serve Christian interests," warned CBCN

The Catholic Bishops further argued that the Bill is in conflict with the secular nature of the Nigerian State, as outlined in the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. 

They urged the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) to reconsider its original objectives and assess the actual needs of Christians in Nigeria that would require government support.

"Requesting the government to establish a Council for Christian Education simply because Muslims have one is counterproductive. It's imperative to revisit and properly examine CAN's original purpose as opposed to what is expressed in the Bill presented at the National Assembly," said the Catholic Bishops.

The CBCN proposed that if a National Christian Council for Education indeed becomes necessary, it should be under the full control of the CAN, recognizing the doctrinal differences of the various Christian denominations, and not of the government.

The CBCN concluded by expressing its absolute rejection of the Bill due to the concerns raised in their position paper.

No comments:

Post a Comment