The Archbishop Emeritus of the Catholic Archdiocese of Lagos, Cardinal Anthony Olubunmi Okogie, has expressed disapproval of the plan of the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), Pastor Enoch Adejare Adeboye, to plant new Church Parishes.
Okogie, in an interview with New Telegraph, argued that the nation does not need more Churches as these Churches are nothing but business centres.
His words: “In order to bring us together, and to get sanity back into this country, the fear of God must be number one. Nigerians of today don’t care a hoot about God.
“For example, I heard that one of my colleagues, (Pastor Enoch) Adeboye, said that he would love to build Churches everywhere so as to make it easy for worshippers to walk to them. But for me, that is a useless statement. How can you say you will build Churches everywhere?
“What kind of Churches are you talking about? Look at traffic in Lagos for example, and those who are Pastors are traders, and a good number of them are businessmen. Such Churches in most cases, are like business houses! Look at the number of Churches springing up in Lagos. If the Muslims start building Mosques like that, does it show that Nigeria is a religious country?
“Every day, we hear of killings and other things that we were not hearing before. We can’t even walk on the streets freely. You have to be watching yourself left, right and centre to know who the man coming behind you is. It wasn’t like that before. Churches must ensure that there is fear of God.
“And I’m just telling you that those Churches that he is talking about are just business centres.
“They rented houses, and in order to make more money, they license them. They pay their dues to the bosses in the Churches, every one of them. Some of them, I have three or four examples; they can’t pay their own house rents. Yet, every Sunday, they gather in the house there and say they are opening Churches.
“The landlord there says, ‘Give me my rent. If you can’t pay, then get out.’ You see the trouble? Whereas people who can pay, who are really, sincerely looking for houses to rent can’t get any to rent.
“These are some of the things. One must think twice, and I don’t think that God wants us to serve him with force,” Okogie said.