A priest once narrated how he took off his cassock and other priestly regalia on him while on a trip through a hostile area. When asked why he had to hide his vocation, he responded that it was for security reasons. There is a clear difference between martyrdom and suicide, he said; believers should know when to be security conscious and heed security advice and warning.
Image: The Preacher/Blogspot
According to Naija News on Monday 20th September 2021, the Ogun State Police Public Relations Officer Abimbola Oyeyemi, has warned Christians in the state to avoid going to isolated places for prayers. He warned that: It is worthy of note that the present security situation in the country does not favour organizing prayer sessions in isolated places." I think it is a warning not only for Christians in Ogun State but to all Nigerian Christians. It is wise to heed the Police warning and staff off isolated locations, bushes and mountains, to avoid being kidnapped or killed. There is indeed a big difference between martyrdom and suicide.
Images: Ironmo Possibility Mountain/Facebook
People need to be cautious and avoid isolated and vulnerable locations like forests and mountains
It is a tradition in some Christian sects and congregations in Nigeria to go up the mountains or isolated remote locations to pray. More like Jesus and his disciples going to mountains or the garden of Gethsemane to pray. It is believed that isolation, far from the commotion and corruption of society helps in spiritual contact and it makes prayers effective. But the times of Jesus are not as insecure as our time, the Nigeria of yesterday is not what it is anymore. Insecurity in the nation is at all times worse, and people must be vigilant and make a conscious effort to remain safe.
In these trying times, people can pray in groups or alone in secured locations without baiting calamity by going to the bushes and mountains(Images: Top, Baptist Convention; Below, Sovereign Hope)
Kidnappers, cold-blooded killers, bandits, etc, have taken over Nigeria forests. People must avoid the forests if they had to, prayers can be made in homes and churches in the security of villages, towns, and cities. Whatever experience one can encounters while on the mountain or in a retreat in forests, should be suspended in these trying times. If a believer fails to heed this warning and falls victim to the evil persons in the forests and mountains, he or she should know that they are not victims of faith, but unwise persons who chose suicide because they mistook it for martyrdom.
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