The Catholic Archbishop of Calabar, Most Rev. Joseph Ekuwem, on Sunday urged Christians to shun divisions in the body of Christ and embrace unity for national development.
Ekuwem made the call during the 2023 annual Lecture of the National Missionary Seminary of St. Paul in Gwagwalada, FCT.
The title of the lecture is “Missionary Cooperation and Integral Development’’.
He said the lecture was to reposition Churches and their members on the outreach and services to people” in Nigeria.
According to him, the greatest achievement of the Church is not about structure and properties acquired.
“It is a consistent drive on evangelism and converting people to Christianity through words, prophetic impartation and counselling.
“Being a missionary implies bringing good news of salvation to the people.
“This can be achieved by preaching the proclamation among those who have not known Jesus Christ.
“People of God are expected to cooperate with one another in the exercise of missionary activities for an effective realisation of the mission of Christ entrusted to them.
“The aim is to examine the concept of mission and missionary cooperation and its theological and missiological ramifications.
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“It is also about theological principles for missionary activities and applying them for integral development,’’ he said.
Missiology is the academic study of the Christian mission history and methodology.
It began to develop as an academic discipline in the 19th century.
Ekuwem enjoined Christian leaders and their congregations to always examine issues that promoted cooperation and better understanding among different denominations in Nigeria.
“Where there is unity, there is progress.
“Christians should walk together in love and purity as it would assist in national development,” Ekuwem said.
Also speaking, Mr Hyacinth Ichoku of Veritas University, Abuja said the Church, as an agent of peace and healing, must contribute towards addressing the political, cultural, ethnic and other vices in Nigeria.
Ichoku said theologians must adopt the approach of social scientists to address the limitations of human responses in society.
He stressed the need for denominations to jettison competition among themselves and embrace cooperation.
“We should emphasise things that will unite the Church and shun things that can divide us,’’ he said.
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