A Professor of Theatre, Film and Communication Studies, University of Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, Effiong Johnson, has urged churches and Christians to make themselves relevant in 2023 elections by sensitising and mobilising their members to play active roles in politics.
The theatre, film and communication studies professor told churches that the desired change in government can only happen if they mobilise and sensitise their members to participate in 2023 elections.
Johnson said this on Tuesday in Uyo during the Convocation Lecture for the 6th Matriculation and 5th Convocation ceremony of Uma Ukpai School of Theology.
Johnson blamed the poor participation of Christians in politics for the demonisation of politics as evil.
According to him, it is wrong for Christians to shy away from politics on the premise that it’s a dirty game, debunking the misconceptions that many Christians who joined politics end up dabbling in diabolical things, and soil their Christianity.
Speaking on the theme: “Christians in Politics – The Way Forward: The Christian and The Church Responsibilities”, Johnson said the Church had a stake in governance and called on the Church to support Christian politicians.
He cited Biblical examples of persons like Joseph who became the second-in-command to Pharaoh in Egypt, Daniel and Joseph of Arimethea, saying they played key political roles in the government of their time and didn’t buckle into evil.
He said notable persons like Desmond Tutu and Martin Luther King became popular through the rallies they organised to promote the Christian course and did not waver in their faith.
The varsity don said, “The church must rise up to the challenge of political relevance via political participation. Sensitisation campaigns, conscientisation of the membership and the electorate, respectively, mobilisation pundits, pulpit.
“Christian sloganeering and public engineering, must become entrenched in the church programme (like crusades), to rally the public into the Christian perspective of political orientation as a target towards desirable change for the better.
“The Christian posture as an individual and the church position as a corporate body must align against brazen acts of corruption. A holy fight against this destructive monster is long overdue.
“The Christian must avoid acts inimical to the promotion of his faith. The church must be ready with penal codes to be unleashed against the rebellious recalcitrant against his public office which he assumed via a sworn oath.
“Litigation must be demanded in the promotion of none-being above the law constitutional provisions, to check the society on the course of justice and the general good of all.
“Unity of the Church in Nigeria or the Christendom, must not be seen as impossible or difficult. The church can sue for unity, against the fracas of fragmentations, denominationalism, and its attendant limitations.
“The price of unity is worthy of deploying every known strategy to wean for, and then win out the unity of the churches. Perhaps approaching this much-desired ideal could come faster from the angle of CAN, PFN, Anglican Communion and the Catholic Bishop Council etc.”