Editorial

‘CHURCH RATS’ ON THE PROWL

The screaming headline carried by this newspaper in its Sunday July 8, 2012 edition –NEMESIS- must have sent shivers down the spines of true-blue faithful, and served notice to thieves masquerading as church workers in some Christian churches in the country.

According to the report, a whopping N400,000 was stolen from St Cyprian’s Cathedral, Abakpa Nike in the Anglican Diocese of Nike, Enugu State, a large chunk from N2,000,000 realised during the last Mothering Sunday activities of the Cathedral.

God’s wrath was ‘quick and hard’ on a suspected youngman who, according to reports ran mad, disregarding repeated appeals by the Vicar of the Church to the perpetrators to return the church fund. An active member of the same Cathedral who also has been  pilfering tithe revenue was also said to have been hospitalized for a long time, suffering from a terminal disease.

These calamities befell the suspected theives  after the Vicar led the congregation in special and powerful prayers, appealing to God to expose the culprits.

He did: the youngman who ran mad was spotted traversing the church premises, boasting that he took the money, “and so what?,” while the other confessed in a letter he wrote from his sick bed  and asked the congregation for prayers for forgiveness.

Pilfering of church funds is not peculiar to St Cyprian’s Cathedral, Abakpa Nike as many churches have records of losses of money from offerings and donations; theft, which cut across the laity and the clergy, all to the chagrin of worshippers.

Time is ripe for church authorities, both the laity and clergy, to tackle this problem. This call has become necessary because the persistent pilfering of church funds may escalate into outward looting of property which has already begun in some churches. The churches may be losing their adherents who may find safe haven in Pentecostal churches on an evangelizing course.

One way to arrest the trend and steer off people from God’s ensuing wrath is proper screening of church workers.

Another way is to pray ceaselessly to God to keep exposing the culprits; known thieves groveling in His vineyard.

The Enugu State example could set the pace to sanitize the church. Even the laity has begun a routine of imprecation on the wild ones in their midst. This should be a regular exercise, to safeguard funds meant for church projects.

 

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