On Religious Tolerance: From the Archive

By Abba Kyari: 12 January 2014.

(Sent: Sunday, January 12, 2014, 9:29:03 AM GMT+1)

Subject: Re: Religious Tolerance:

The centrality of religious identity in our society in the last two decades or so, fills me with grief, in a society where people lived together and socialised together.

Two Friday’s ago, I was in Wusasa for the funeral service of late Mrs Yarbaba Baikie, wife of Prof Adamu Baikie. The service was attended by both Christians and Muslims.Mrs Baikie, a Hausa from Kano was the only Christian in her family. Every Easter and every Christmas, her Muslim relatives will come to Zaria and join in the celebrations. Every Eid–twice a year too– she and her family will travel to Kano for the celebrations. That has been the practise until she died.

If you visited the Baikie household during the period of mourning, you will not fail to notice the age old practice of living together and socialising together. Not even Jerry Gana could tell who is a Christian and who is a Muslim, apart from the people he knows.

I attended St Paul’s College, Wusasa. It was an Anglican Mission secondary school but was 75% grant aided by the Northern Nigerian government without any interference in its running. It was an Anglican school.

Although the majority of the students were Christians, there were a few Muslims too. That was never an issue, we were all students, majority of us never knew who came from where. It was only last year when I went to Lokoja for the funeral service of a classmate’s mother that I discovered one of our classmates is from Edo state-47 years later.

In form one, when I chose to take Bible knowledge, I was denied, because it would not look like my voluntary choice. It was only in form three that i was allowed. Every morning, all the Muslims stayed out in an adjacent classroom during the morning mass before we were allowed into to the hall for general assembly. Every Sunday during service all the Muslim students must attend Muslim students meeting. Every Friday all the Muslims students are gathered and put in the the school van and driven to the juma’a mosque in Zaria City.

Every Ramadan Muslim students were woken at 3 am for sahur, for a freshly cooked meal and not leftovers. In my five years, we had two Head Boys who were Muslims. In all our social activities religion was NEVER an issue. It is only against the backdrop of what is happening today that one is recounting these examples, then they meant nothing.

About 22 years ago, I was the best man at a wedding in Owo between an Ibo catholic and Yoruba Anglican. It was not an issue. I am the godfather to the first son of that union.

The religion that is ‘dividing’ our communities, is not the religion of God, it is the religion of Nigerians, it is the religion mammon. It is all about fight for political and economic space by a very few people,creating chaos and bloodshed.

©Abba Kyari: 2014

Fake News is worst than Covid 19

By Ahmed Yahaya Joe

Did Melinda Gates claim to see dead bodies all over Africa? Is Bill Gates the Antichrist? The Fact check to the first question is courtesy of Kabir Adejumo while Simon Kolawole tackles the second in 5G and other Tales by Moonlight. Enjoy;

1. The bogus claim attributed to Melinda Gates has gone viral but it started when Femi Fani-Kayode wrote on his Twitter handle @realFFK at 3.47pm on April 12, 2020;

“I see dead bodies all over Africa”- Melinda Gates.

Horrendous vision from a horrendous lady with a horrendous husband. We reject it and return it to sender! The agenda of satan for Africa shall not stand. Those that have dug a pit for us shall fall into that pit themselves”.

But what did Mrs. Gates actually say? In a recent interview with CNN where she spoke about Coronavirus pandemic, she said;

“It’s going to be horrible in the developing world. Part of the reasons you are seeing the case numbers still do not look very bad is because they don’t have access to many tests”

She disclosed that when she…

“saw what China had to do to isolate an enormous part of its population. My first thought was Africa. How in the world are they going to deal with this.

“Look at what is happening in Ecuador, they are putting bodies out on the streets, you are going to see that in countries in Africa. I have been in townships all over Africa and slums. When we talk about physical distancing and hand-washing. If you live in slums who can’t physically distance, you have to go out and get your meals. You don’t have clean water to wash your hands”

Truth is Mrs Gates never said she “saw dead bodies all over Africa” the way and manner it is currently being portrayed in the Nigerian social media space. Rather, she’s urging the world to act fast to save developing countries like Africa from disaster. Mr Fani-Kayode stripped the Mrs Gates’ comment of its context. The former minister is layering his presumed refutation of Melinda Gates’ argument on a “spiritual” principle which is an exaggeration of the philantropist’s comments.”

2. Now over to Simon Kolawole;
“In case you are just tuning in, let me keep you up to speed. They say the fifth generation of wireless communication technology, known as 5G, was launched in China in November 2019 to weaken our immune system and infect us with the coronavirus. They say Bill Gates, the Antichrist, will then plant chips in our bodies to vaccinate us against the virus. They say he would then start controlling humans — the whole seven billion of us — through the chips using 5G. They say the world is on lockdown so that the 5G can be installed. They say the pandemic is a hoax after all. They even say the lockdown in Lagos and Abuja was to lay 5G cables for the coming of the Antichrist.

Let us say I did not go to school but, as my grandmother (God rest her soul) would say, “I may be uneducated but I have a brain.” For one, South Korea launched 5G in April 2019 and did not record a coronavirus case until January 2020. Also, we don’t need any lockdown for 5G to be installed because it rides on fibre optic cable — which we have been laying across Nigeria for over 15 years! In fact, MTN and Globacom have laid nearly 20,000km of fibre optic cable all over Nigeria without any lockdown. Meanwhile, 5G is not a cable. You don’t lay it underground. You only upgrade to 5G by installing radios, antennas and nodes on existing masts — not by digging the ground, dummy!

True, Gates, in 2015, spoke about a possible pandemic, but isn’t that fairly predictable? It’s like saying there will be religious conflict in Kaduna state or flood in Lagos! Incidentally, President Barack Obama warned about a pandemic before Gates. Epidemics and pandemics are as old as the human race. The Plague of Justinian killed 25 million people as far back as AD 541-542. We have had the Black Death, the Asiatic Flu, the Spanish Flu (during which churches and mosques were closed down, as Pastor Sam Adeyemi has helped us dig out) and, recently, SARS. China has been the epicentre of epidemics since 1855. Any idiot can predict epidemics. You don’t have to be the Antichrist.

If people are genuinely worried that the 5G technology can cause health problems such as cancer, I can understand. We can begin to have an intelligent discussion around that. Fears have been raised, and are still raised, that the radiofrequency electromagnetic radiation that mobile phones or phone masts transmit can cause cancer. So far, no scientific study has backed this claim. All studies by reputable scientists have concluded that the radiation is non-ionising and does not have enough energy to damage DNA and cannot directly cause cancer. But to suggest that electromagnetic radiation can create a particle with genetic material is a completely different proposition altogether.
I accept that new technologies tend to get some people paranoid — and they begin to hallucinate.

This is common in Christendom. Any new thing has to be linked to the “end times”. For context, the Bible talks about a time when the entire world will unite economically and politically — one currency, one religion, etc — under the Antichrist. People will voluntarily align with the Antichrist and get the “666” code as pass to do business in his kingdom. People won’t be deceived into accepting the mark of the beast. The Bible says the Antichrist will eventually engage in a final war with Jesus Christ in the Battle of Armageddon and will be routed. That is the context.

Not surprisingly, Christians have invented several Antichrists to enforce the Apocalypse. Nero Caesar, the Roman Emperor from AD 54-68, was once named the Antichrist — based on the numerical interpretation that “666” is the equivalent of his name and title in Aramaic. In 1992, I read an article in the magazine of the Nigerian Christian Corpers Fellowship (NCCF) declaring the credit card as the universal transaction tool that the Antichrist would use to control the world. Christians were asked not to use the “evil” cards. When the World Wide Web (www) began to gain ground, eschatologists said the Apocalypse had finally arrived. The world was now electronically one!

With his Microsoft Windows operating system a monopoly on PCs, Gates was appointed as the new Antichrist. His name amounted to “666” in the computer code, they said, similar to what they said about Nero. It seems Gates did not perform well as the Antichrist. He soon fell out of favour. Pope John Paul II was also a nominee. The end-time experts said the pontiff was working hard to unite the entire world under the Roman Catholic Church, after which he would rule as the Antichrist and Jesus would come and finish him off. The Pope also failed to perform. Instead, he died. Other names have been touted, including Obama, Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden.

Anytime an epidemic or war breaks out, the next thing we hear is that the world is about to come to an end “as predicted by the Bible”. Prophets have used the epidemics in centuries gone by — such as the bubonic plagues — to declare the end of the world. The Gulf War of 1990/91 was also supposed to end it all. But it seems we have finally found the answer. According to a popular pastor who said he took his inspiration from a 1984 movie rather than from the Spirit of God, 5G is the latest Antichrist tool in town.

Conspiracy theories are easy to propound: just join unrelated events together, adjust the facts and speak some clean English. You are set to go.
I must confess that I find the 5G technology astounding. It is said to be 20 times faster than the current 4G LTE. That means you can download a two-hour movie in three seconds! This would normally take six minutes on 4G and 26 hours on 3G. Some of these end-time pastors will soon start asking us to download their messages “in just one second” for $10 each using the 5G technology! Also with 5G, artificial intelligence (AI) will explode. It will enable smart homes and driverless cars. We are told that doctors can perform surgeries virtually. Videos won’t buffer. This is mind-boggling! But as a layman, I would rather seek more knowledge on it than mystify or demonise it!

With 5G and COVID-19 currently the hot topics, my brethren have gone back to the drawing board — or is it the cinema hall — and have come up with movie-inspired prophecies. The mantle of the Antichrist has been returned to Gates, who, they said, wants to give us digital identity chips under the pretext of vaccination against the coronavirus. We will then become zombies and he will begin to control us, using AI. So, we have been told to reject COVID-19 vaccines. This is the same way many northern children were stopped from taking the polio vaccine with the conspiracy theory that the US wanted to sterilise Muslims. Let us just say the “5G vaccine” is the Christian version.

When a pastor told me “vaccine digital ID” would eventually be a requirement to “buy and sell” under the Antichrist, I asked him: “Did you register for BVN?” He said yes. I said: “Then you already have a digital ID!” He screamed: “I’m finished!” The Antichrist has got him, poor soul! You cannot operate an account in Nigeria today without a BVN. If you ever gave your fingerprint to get a visa, be assured you already have a digital ID. If you have a mobile phone, you have technically received a “chip” that gives out your location per time. If you use an ATM or the autocorrect function on your phone, you are already under the influence of AI. Stop deceiving yourself!

Finally, let us now agree that these are the end-time signs. And so what? Why should any pastor be jittery, running scared and spreading panic? Pastors have been preaching that Jesus Christ is coming soon, so shouldn’t they be happy that their prophecies are about to be fulfilled? Are they afraid to go to heaven or what? What’s the point? Jesus said: “When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.” He did not say panic or resist it. Even then, can any preacher stop the Antichrist? Does the Bible say the mark of the beast will be given to you under a pretext? Some pastors certainly have more trust in movies than the Bible.

I’m not really worried if these myths and old wives’ fables are being spread by internet layabouts. But pastors? Many Christians are so gullible that, no matter the level of their education or exposure, they are easily misled. Pastors need to be careful.

As Apostle James wrote,

“We who teach will be judged more strictly.”

When pastors, who are supposed to be led by the Spirit of God, are misleading the people, the only scripture that comes to mind is what Jesus said in Matthew 18:6:

“If anyone causes one of these little ones — those who believe in me — to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.”

TWO ADULTEROUS TWINS ~ (THE EZEKIEL 23 STORY)

The scriptures

The word of the LORD reads to me; “Son of man, there are four women, daughters of the same mother. Born at two settings, two sets of female twins. They became prostitutes long after their Egypt, engaging in prostitution from their youth. In their own lands of indigenous birth, their breasts were fondled and their virgin bosoms caressed. The older were named Oholah, and their sisters were Oholibah. They were mine and gave birth to sons and daughters. The twins, Oholah are Europe and Northern America, and Oholibah, Africa and Southern America.

“Oholah engaged in prostitution while they were still mine; they lusted after their lovers, the Ishmealites – warriors clothed in white, governors and commanders, all of them handsome young men, and mounted horsemen. They gave themselves as prostitutes to all the elite of the Ishmealites and defiled themselves with the idols of every one they lusted after. They did not give up the prostitution they began long after their Egypt, when during their youth, men slept with them, caressed their virgin bosom and poured out their lust upon them.

Worshipping the wrong God yet again

“Therefore I handed them over to their lovers, the Ishmealites, for whom they lusted. They stripped them naked, took away their sons and daughters and killed them with their own sword. They have become a by word among all other women, and punishment has inflicted on them.

“Their sisters Oholibah saw this, yet in their lust and prostitution they were more depraved than their sisters. They too lusted after their Ishmealites – governors and commanders, warriors in full dress, mounted horsemen, all handsome young men. I saw that they too defiled themselves; both set of twins went the same way.

“But Oholibah carried their prostitution still further. They saw men portrayed on walls, figures of old Babylonians portrayed in green, with belts around their waists and small suede turbans on their heads; all of them looked like Babylonians chariot officers, natives of Barracks. As soon as they saw them, they lusted after them and sent messengers to them in their Barracks. Then the Babylonians came to them, to the bed of love, and in their lust they defiled them. After they had been defiled by them, Oholibah turned away from them in disgust.

“When they carried on their prostitution openly and exposed their nakedness; I turned away from them in disgust, just as I had turned away from their sisters. Yet they became more and more promiscuous as they recalled the days of their youth, when they were prostitutes after their Egypt. There they lusted after lovers, whose genitals were like those of donkeys and whose emission was like that of horses. So you longed for the lewdness of your youth, when long after your Egypt, your bosom was caressed and your young breasts fondled and drained.”

Therefore, Oholibah, this is what the LORD says; “I will stir up your lovers against you, those you turned away from in disgust, and I will bring them against you from every side – the Babylonians and all the Barrack men, the men of intelligence and wisdom and craft, and all the Ishmealites with them, handsome young men once, of the best of your kind, all of them governors and commanders, chariot officers and men of high rank, all mounted on horses you had given them. They will come against you with new kinds of weapons, chariots and wagons and with a throng of people; they will take up positions you will choose for them, against you on every side with large and small shield and helmets you put on their heads. I will turn you over to them and their kind for punishment, and they will punish you according to their standards.

“I will direct my jealous anger against you, and they will deal with you in fury. They will cut off your noses and you will not smell their plots. Cut your ears and you will not hear their steps. Those of you who are left will fall by their sword. They will take away your sons and daughters and those of you who are left will be consumed by their fire of change. They will also strip you of your clothes of honour and take your fine jewelry of freedom. So I will put a stop to the lewdness and prostitution you began long after your Egypt. You will not look on these things with longing or remember your Egypt anymore.”

For this is what the sovereign LORD says; “I am about to hand you over to those you hate, to those you turned away from in disgust. They will deal with you in hatred and take away every thing you have worked for. They will leave you naked in clothes and bare in conscience, and the shame of your prostitution will be exposed. Your lewdness and promiscuity have brought this upon you, because you lusted after the nations and defiled yourself with valuable idols. You have gone the way of your sister; so I will put her cup into your hand and see how you will fare.”

This is what the sovereign LORD says; “You will drink your sister’s cup, a cup large and deep; it will bring scorn and derision, for it holds so much. You will be filled with drunkenness and sorrow, the cup of ruin and desolation, the cup of your sisters, Europe and Northern America. You will dash it to pieces and tear your breasts. I have spoken, declares the sovereign LORD.”

Therefore this is what the sovereign LORD says; “Since you have forgotten me and thrust me behind your back, you must bear the consequences of your lewdness and prostitution.” The LORD read to me; “Son of man, will you judge Oholah and Oholibah? Then confront them with their detestable practices, for they have committed adultery and blood is on their hands.

“They committed adultery with their idols; they even sacrificed children, whom they bore to me. At that same time they defiled my sanctuary and desecrated my Sabbaths which I have shown them to respect and glorify. On the very day they sacrificed their children to their idols; they entered my sanctuary and desecrated it. That is what they did in my house.

“They even sent messengers for men who came from far away, and when they arrived you bathed yourself for them, painted your eyes and put on your jewelry. You sat on an elegant couch, with a table spread before it on which you had placed the incense and oil that belonged to me. The noise of a carefree crowd was around her, drunkards were brought from the desert along with men from the dirt waste of civility, and they put bracelets on the arms of the woman and her sister and beautiful crowns on their heads. Then I said about the one worn out by adultery, ‘Now let them use her as a prostitute, for that is all she is.’ And they slept with her. As men sleep with a prostitute, so they slept with those lewd women, Oholah and Oholibah.

“But righteous men will sentence them to the punishment of women who commit adultery and shed blood, because they are adulterous and blood is on their hands.” This is what the sovereign LORD says; “Bring a mob against them and give them over to terror and plunder. The mob will stone them and cut them down with their swords; they will kill their sons and daughters and burn down their cursed houses. So I will put an end to lewdness in the land, that all women may take warning and not imitate you. You will suffer the penalty for your lewdness and bear the consequences of your sin of idolatry. Then you will know that I am the sovereign LORD.”

PARAPHRASED FROM EZEKIEL 23; NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION (NIV) OF THE HOLY BIBLE

In Europe and the Northern Americas
The gospels invaded and cleansed.
Inspired and man made mild crude fracas
They nourished and exposed as it pleased.

The lust that is man is adulterous,
To feed it he opens his sacred legs.
Consumed, he treads only the dangerous
And is so enslaved just like he begs.

Then Africa and all Southern America
Enthusiastically gulped the gospel introduced
With their orientations still Juju and Inca,
Their experience only confused and infused.

The curse of God’s people of old
Is all new in these times as before.
When His covenant does not uphold,
Sovereign LORD remains true as before.