Catholic Bishops In Anambra Rise Against Insecurity, Bloodletting, Call For 40 Days Fasting, Prayer

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By; PAMELA EBOH, Awka 


Following the increasing insecurity in Anambra State, Catholic Bishops under the Archdiocese of Onitsha have declared war against forces of darkness and death which according to them, have cast its shadows over the South-Eastern part of the country.
To this end, the Bishops announced 40 days prayers and fasting in the state starting from Wednesday which marks the beginning of the lent season, and will last through out the period that ushers in the Easter celebration.
A press statement signed by Most Rev. Valerian M. Okeke, the Archbishop of Onitsha and Metropolitan Ecclesiastical Province, for and on behalf of the Catholic Bishops of Onitsha Province, they harped on the need for intervention, over what was happening in the state.
The statement partly reads: “For quite sometime now, the South-Eastern jurisdiction which God entrusted to our pastoral care has become a theatre of ungodly and wanton destruction of life and properties.
“The forces of darkness and death seem to have cast its shadows over the South-Eastern part of our country. This has not been part of our history or who we are as a people. In the midst of these tragedies, many people are tempted to lose faith in God and hope in man.
“It is against this prevalent despondency, that we, the Archbishop and Bishops of Onitsha Ecclesiastical Province send you this message of hope and call for prayers especially this holy season of lent. We are indeed convinced that those who put their trust in the Lord can never be disappointed.
“We ask God to give the Federal Government of Nigeria and some of our own political leaders the courage
and the honesty to discuss the challenges facing the South-Eastern region which are part of the causes of youth restiveness and violence in our zone.”
While explaining that the prayers for peace and security are now declared in all the dioceses, they added that there will be fasting for everybody on Ash Wednesday and all Fridays in the season of Lent. 
The statement added, “People should not eat before noon on such days.
“We appeal to all as individuals, Families, Associations, Parishes to say their Rosaries daily and faithfully within this period of lent in order that this cloud of bloodletting hanging over our region will collapse like the walls of Jericho.
“The prayers will last for 40 days (from Ash Wednesday, 2nd March to Palm Sunday, 10th April, 2022.”
The Bishops maintained that the prayers are for security and peace in the South-East of Nigeria, for God to cause a change of heart in the murderers and make them once again realize the sacredness of human life, and that justice and equity will reign in Nigeria.

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