“They (Muslims) have every right to do so (Islamize the country) provided they also know that I have the right to Christianize the whole of Nigeria. The answer is not in complaining and crying; stand up like a man and Christianize Nigeria.”
Cardinal Onaiyekan made these points in his homily at a Mass to celebrate the Sacrament of Confirmation at Our Lady of Perpertual Help Parish, Gwarinpa II in Abuja.
He said that in reality, there is no body that wants to Islamize the country, emphasizing: “let nobody deceive you; I don’t think there is anybody who has plan to Islamize Nigeria, but even if they do, they have every right to do so.
“People complain that Christianity is being persecuted; they are saying that some people want to Islamize the nation. Just know that nobody can’t Islamize you unless you agree to be Islamized.
“For as long as you are not ready to stand up and carry the Cross, you are on the verge of losing your faith; if you don’t want to lose your promotion for Christ sake, you are also not worthy to be a Christian.
“Anybody who presents another programme different from the programme of Jesus Christ on the Cross will lose, you will drop; you will just drop like an overripe apple.”
According to him, Christians cannot achieve the feat by compromising their faith, it can only be achieved by carrying their cross and following Christ.
“You don’t Christianize the nation by standing up and looking for prosperity or material benefits.
“You Christianize a nation, if you are ready to stand up for the truth, preach the gospel, carry the Cross and follow the Lord Jesus.’’
Quoting from the Gospel of Mathew Chapter 10 verses 37 to 42, Onaiyekan said that anyone who loved his or her mother, father, children, husband more than Christ is not worthy of His kingdom.
He said that Christians had the mandate to preach Jesus Christ to everyone without being distracted with material things.
Onaiyekan advised Christians to defend their faith by preaching the gospel in words and deeds without compromising the message of the Cross.
He said that the Disciples of Christ preached the crucified Christ, accepted persecution and that many even died for their faith.