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Assault on free speech: Choose your words, watch your steps, Archbishop Ibezim urges

As Catholic Bishops pay solidarity visit at Xmas From Ngozi Omah, Awka

The newly enthroned Anglican Archbishop of the Niger Province, and the Bishop of Awka, Church of Nigeria, His Grace Rev Alexander Chibuzor Ibezim has cautioned citizens to mind their language and choose their words at this time that freedom of speech appear in systematic shackles.

Anchoring his 2019 Christmas message on the book of Luke 1:37, Archbishop Ibezim who addressed a select journalists during a solidarity/Christmas visit by the Catholic Bishops led by His Grace, the Archbishop of Onitsha Archdiocese, Rev Valerian Okeke at the Bishop’s Court in Awka yesterday said that even in our homes every member chooses words carefully while addressing or interacting with one another in order not to overheat the atmosphere.

He said, “…even in homes couples are always careful of what they say to each other. While parents choose what they tell the children and vice versa. You can then imagine a very big country like Nigeria. We must be careful of what we say; because if trouble breaks out, the rich men will abandon their wealth and run away while leaving the poor behind to face the consequences. But whatever the situation, God has not abandoned the nation.

“I therefore urge everyone to say only things that will make the society healthy, and leave out those things that will make things volatile -for the sale of our children and loved ones.

“So let’s choose our words and not fight dirty. We believe that in the modern world there are things we should resolve amicably….”, the cleric stated.

In his own message, the Catholic bishop of Nnewi, Rev Hillary Odilichukwu Okeke called on everyone to shun all forms of idolatry and occultism.

Bishop Okeke made the call during his 2019 Christmas message to the nation pointed out that worship of false gods which has subtly crept into the world today need to be discarded with all commitment towards God Almighty.

Quoting from the epistle of Apostle Paul to the Corinthians(6:9-10), Bishop Okeke said, “do you not realize that peoplewho do evil will never inherit the kingdom of God? Make no mistake, -the sexually immoral, idolaters, adulterers, the self-indulgent, sodomites, thieves, misers, drunkards, slanderers, and swindlers, none of these will inherit the kingdom of God”.

He also quoted from the book of Paul to the Galatians (5:19-21) “In fact many people including some who call themselves Christians commit these sins, especially sexual immorality — adultery, fornication, homosexuality (gay homosexuality of male and male); lesbianism ( homosexuality of female and female), sensuality and masturbation.

“Another serious and widely sin in our area is idolatry -the worship of false gods and goddesses …”

The cleric said it has become imperative for Christians to always remember the reason for the season and as we celebrate the birth and coming of Christ, “…we must be prepared to receive him when he comes again…”

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