Adeboye and the dialogue of civilizations.

The pastor of the redeemed church recently called for harmony among world religions. There were mixed reactions from Christians. The Redeemed Church- officially The Redeemed Christian Church of God- is easily one of the largest Christian denominations on the continent while its pastor, Dr Enoch Adejare Adeboye, is one of the most influential clergymen in the world, even making the Forbes list. This places him as one of the great personalities of the age, capable of calling for such an audacious project. It has rocked the Nigerian church. Hard. During the declaration, personalities like W.F. Kumuyi who leads one of Nigeria’s most conservative Christian denominations, The Deeper Christian Life Ministry, were present. He spoke.

That meant consent. While many expressed shock, I was more than pleased to join ordinary people like me who support the initiative. You see, religion has come to stay in our frail world. I also, seriously, doubt it is going away anytime soon. What we do to manage the excesses of some of its practitioners is an integral part of the determinants of global peace. The hand of fellowship outstretched to a people in whose faith you do not believe is the sign of a good soul. Although enmity between the faiths did not start with Pope Urban II, the first crusade was an epic clash of civilizations. In 1197 A.D, Pope Urban II declared a crusade against the Saracens. The purpose? To recapture the Holy Lands but ultimately Jerusalem -the city where the Saviour died. Recapture. Centuries earlier, Omar ibn Al-Khattab had received the surrender of the city after a long siege by jihadists.

He refused to pray at the Holy Sepulchre despite the invitation from the Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem. His reasons? To prevent future Muslims from insisting on doing so. It might lead to the takeover of the church by Christians by the victorious Muslim jihadists. Quite sensible. Omar was a conqueror but was wise to have left the Christian property to the historical owners. The crusaders’ quest to recapture Jerusalem has left a bad taste. To this day, references are being made to the occurrences, aggressively tagged “savage” by Muslim historians. The blames are being traded. Who took the first strike? Weren’t the Saracens the first to attack the place of the sepulchre?

The debates about the justification of the crusades from both sides still rage and might rage till the end of time. Nevertheless, Pope Urban II, whose major legacy was the first crusade, was never canonised by the Catholic Church. The crusades preceded massacres, jihads, anti-Jew pogroms during the early twentieth century in the Arab world, the burning of Al Haqsa mosque etcetera. The incumbent Pope, Francis II, who was mentored by Pope John Paul II, was seen praying side by side with Islamic clerics in Istanbul’s Blue Mosque and facing Mecca. The “Document on Human Fraternity for World Peace and Living Together” is a joint statement signed by Pope Francis and Sheikh Ahmed el-Tayeb, Grand Imam of Al-Azhar.

This gesture has been rejected by some Muslim scholars like Professor Daud Noibi who thinks it is hypocritical and inconsistent with standard practices in an interview with the Broadcasting Corporation of Oyo State. Some Christians have also expressed scepticism and disagreed with the Pope. He has been called a leftist Pope. E. A. Adeboye himself has been criticized. Notably, a Christian critic, Joseph Okechukwu- in a video published on his YouTube channel that had hundreds of thousands of views- has condemned the popular pastor for the action. In his thought, the Christian doctrinal standard might have to give way to accommodate the union of world religions.

He also pointed out the pastor’s use of a rod as a prophetic token. Joseph might be oblivious to the popularity of the use of rods among early African revivalists like Emmanuel Oshofa and Joseph Ayo Babalola. In present times, the rod is popular amongst pastors of churches like the Christ Apostolic Church. I also doubt that the Christian standard can be violated beyond the interreligious marriages that are already widely common in Nigeria. I wish to see good outcomes emerge from the efforts of the proponents of the interfaith idea. I also will help. I wish the world would also sanction the fanners of the embers of discord among the faiths. Criminals like Recep Tayyip Erdogan the Islamist president of the secular but Muslim majority Republic of Turkey, who has converted the historical Hagia Sophia monument into a mosque.

This article was first published here: https://www.ojoaderemi.com/…/adeboye-and-the-dialogue… Notes:








Yomi Layinka Interview: Broadcasting Corporation of Oyo State


Ojo, Aderemi lives in Ibadan, Nigeria. He makes podcasts on Anchor FM to share knowledge of Nigeria’s history. To reach him via email: ojderemi@gmail.com Follow him on Twitter: @oj_deremi


Ojo, Aderemi is a Historian, teacher, public speaker, writer, politician, and community organiser. He was trained at the University of Ibadan and was President of the Students Union.

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