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National Centre for Christian Education Bill

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By Mercy Kelani

CAN clarified that the bill does not stop Christians from preaching the gospel.

Currently, the Senate, also called the red chambers, is proposing a bill for establishment of a “National Centre for Christian Education”. The sponsors of this bill asserted that the law will ensure regulation and set standards to practice Christianity in the country, while promoting national cohesion in religion. At first instance, other religious faiths were said to have sponsored the piece of legislation for the purpose of reducing the wide spread of Christianity in Nigeria.

Information about the supposed sponsors went viral, building fears among Christian communities which underwent various kind of annihilation from Islamic terrorists during President Muhammadu Buhari’s regime. However, it has been discovered that there is no plan to stop Christians from preaching the kingdom gospel which is regarded as a fundamental faith principle. The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has also made clarifications that Hon. Shawulu Kwenmwun sponsored the bill under the House of Representatives with other core-sponsors.

Preserving the sanctity of the Christian faith is considered.

The National Director of Education, Youth and Women Development of CAN, Rev. Osumba Emmanuel Nicodemus, stated that the bill is hinged at getting a regulatory council for Christian education that will be in charge of the development of the Christian curriculum, while monitoring what secular schools teach the children. The proposed bill is regarded as a contribution towards preservation of the sanctity of the religion’s faith and the innocence of its children. Also, there is the issue of substandard theological schools in the country.

Certificates awarded in substandard theological schools lack recognition beyond the institutions that gave them. Another purpose of this bill is to aid in the harmonization of their operations, setting a specific minimum standard that must be satisfied before certification can be awarded to their graduates. Also, there will be formalization of Christian education as a course of study in their tertiary institutions, with recognition and validity accorded to certificates awarded from Bible and theological schools and other Nigerian Christian institutions.

Wrongful practice of religion in Nigeria causes extremism.

Tagged “An Act to Establish the National Council for Christian Education for the Purpose of Regulating and Setting Standard and For Related Matters, 2023”, the bill has sailed through second reading for enhancement of the educational value of Christianity. Representing Plateau North, Senator Istifanus Gyang, stated that extremism was bred by wrongful practice of religion. He added that there is no need for Nigerians to suspect themselves because of religion differences. Instead, they should build understanding and respect for one another.

Rightful practice of religion, according to the sponsors, could drive strength and national cohesion. Representing Benue South, Senator Moro said that the bill is accurate due to the fact that some youths have fallen under the manipulation of extremist religious leaders. These manipulations are mostly in form of inappropriate teaching of the Bible and the Qu’ran. After the second reading, the bill has been referred to the Committee of Education for more legislative contributions before it becomes a law.

Adoption of any religion as State Religion is not permissible.

In Nigeria, the country’s secularity, constitution, laws and policies protects religion freedom. According to the constitution, there is a mandate that the government “Shall not adopt any religion as State Religion” for avoidance of enthronement of religious suppression. Religious groups, across the world, contribute to creation of educational infrastructure and development of societal attitudes towards education. Today, Christian education is recognized for reforms and has advocated for educational funding and innovation, empowerment, moral improvement, service delivery and social movement.

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CAN: Website

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