THE ROLE OF THE CHURCH IN ENSURING PEACE AND HARMONY IN THE SOCIETY (A CASE STUDY OF CHRIST APOSTOLIC CHURCH, LIFE AND POWER DISTRICT, ODOGUNYAN, IKORODU)

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Godwin Obaseki (GGO) on Twitter: "I appreciate the role of religious bodies  in ensuring peaceful coexistence in our society,the state & religious  bodies must work in harmony.… https://t.co/GvyDaB4nkl"

Table of Contents

Title Page                                                                                                                    i

Certification                                                                                                                ii

Dedication                                                                                                                  iii

Acknowledgement                                                                                                      iv

Abstract                                                                                                                      v

Table of Contents                                                                                                       vi

CHAPTER ONE – INTRODUCTION

1.1.      Background of Studies                                                                      

1.2.      Statement of Problems                                                                       

1.3.      Objectives of Study                                                                                       

1.4.      Significant of the Study                                                                                

1.5.      Scope of the Study                                                                                        

1.6.      Limitation of the Study                                                                                             

1.7.      Definition of Terms                                                                           

Endnotes                                                                                                                                

CHAPTER TWO – LITERATURE REVIEW

2.1       Concept of Conflict

2.2       Concept of “Peace and Harmony”

2.3       The Concept of Peace Building 

2.4       Conflict in Nigeria     

2.5       Reconciliation and Conflict Transformation

2.6     Peace building through Reconciliation

Endnotes                                                                                                                                

CHAPTER THREE – BIBLICAL CONCEPT OF THE ROLE OF CHURCH IN PEACE AND HARMONY IN THE SOCIETY

3.1       Conflict in the Old Testament

3.2.     Conflict in the New Testament

3.3.      Peace building and Reconciliation Methods by Churches    

3.4.      Church as an Actor in Reconciliation

3.5       Contemporary Approaches in Peace Making

            Endnotes

CHAPTER FOUR – THE ROLE OF THE CHURCH IN ENSURING PEACE AND HARMONY IN THE SOCIETY. (A CASE STUDY OF CAC LIFE AND POWER DISTRICT, ODOGUNYAN, IKORODU.)

4.1       Historical Background of Christ Apostolic Church

4.2       Brief History of Christ Apostolic Church, Life and Power District, Odoogunyan.

4.3       The Roles of NGO’s in Conflict and Peace building in Nigeria

4.4       The Role of Christ Apostolic Church, Life and Power District in Ensuring Peace and Harmony in the Society

4.5     Effect of the Church (CAC Life and Power District) on her society

Endnotes                                                                                                        

CHAPTER FIVE: – SUMMARY, CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATION

5.1       Summary                                                                                            

5.2.      Conclusion                                                                                         

5.3       Recommendation                                                                   

Endnotes                                                                                                        

Bibliography                                                                                                  

Endnotes      

Clerics, political leaders deplore worsening insecurity, preach peace —  Nigeria — The Guardian Nigeria News – Nigeria and World News

                                                                                                                          

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1   BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY

The Christian tradition has made significant contributions to world peace at a number of different levels1. Among these are public statements by Church leaders, programs of action at local and international levels, organizations dedicated to bringing about peace, courses of study, commemorative days etc. In recent decades, Church leaders have frequently made statements in support of peace. In some cases these statements have been specific appeals for peace in particular circumstances, however, on other occasions they have also published more comprehensive statements on the need for peace and the means of achieving it. The teachings of Christianity which is guided by the dictates of the bible (word of God) has constantly encourage the members to ensure peace and harmony in the society.

Christian leaders have always publicly stand for societal peace and harmony and against violence. It is now widely accepted that violent conflict is the major hindrance to the development of the African continent and Nigeria in particular. It inflicts human sufferings through death, destruction of livelihoods, constant displacement and insecurity2. Violent conflict disrupts the process of production, creates conditions for pillage of the country’s resources and diverts their application from development purposes to servicing war. Violent conflict is thus responsible for perpetuating misery and under development in the country-Nigeria and the continent at large3.

Peace is a universal phenomenon that everyone desires and wishes to enjoy endlessly. Traditions, cultures, religions and societies do have different prescriptions to attaining and enjoying peace. Whenever and wherever there is peace there tends to be development and longevity is enjoyed4. To this end, Christianity which is one of the predominant religions in the world today teaches peace and encourages all adherents to the faiths to pursue peace and live peacefully with one another. The above statement now seems to be questionable with the rise of intra, inter and ethno-religious conflicts in the world. While most Arab and some European countries are faced with intra-religious conflicts, an African country like Nigeria is faced with both intra and inter-religious conflicts. Nigeria, which is popularly known as Africa’s most populous black nation with a population of now about 170 million people, with more than 250 ethnic groups has Christianity and Islam as its predominant religions, though there is still in existence the African Traditional Religion (ATR).

Christianity as a word means followers of Christ or Christ like. Christians therefore are those who follow and act the teaching of Christ in all ways of life. One of the climaxes of Christianity or Christian virtue is peace. Christians are enjoined in the Bible to embrace and live peacefully with their neighbors’. The following scriptures confirm this: Depart from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it (Psalm 34 vs 14). Blessed are the Peace makers for they shall be called the children of God Matthew 5 vs 9). Let him eschew evil and do good; let him seek peace and ensue it (1 Peter 3 vs 11). Follow peace with all men and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord (Hebrews 12 vs 14). If it be possible, as much as it lieth in you, live peaceably with all men (Rom 12 vs 18)

The word Peace in Christianity is translated from the Hebrew word ‘Shalom’, which is a key word in the Bible and its at the center of how God wants us to live on earth. One of the key things Jesus came to give humanity is Peace and expects us to live in peace as cited in the scriptural verses above. Peace was not only what Jesus taught but He also lived it, this in most cases is what scholars call pacifism, as Jesus never taught violence, even at his arrest by the Pharisees and one of his disciples struck the ears of the priest, Jesus rebuked the disciple and said that “those who live by the sword shall die by the sword” (Mathew 26:52, NKJV).

 In another place Jesus taught the people not to retaliate any evil done to them as it used to be, an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, if one should strike you on the right cheek, turn the left cheek (Mathew 5:38-39, NKJV) but now to always forgive those that offend them and he charged them to forgive their neighbors even seventy times seven (Matthew 18:22, KJV). With all these scriptural teachings of the church, Christians are suppose to live in peace and harmony in the society.

Lagos Anglican, Catholic bishops preach peace, harmony | The Guardian  Nigeria News - Nigeria and World News — Nigeria — The Guardian Nigeria News  – Nigeria and World News

1.2   Statement of the Problem

The church has always taught the members on the act of non retaliation as taught by Jesus which helps to absorb violence instead of escalating it, hence every cycle of violence provoking revenge, which in turn provokes more violence is broken by the simple act of tolerating the violence and avoiding retaliation. On the contrary, there has been an increased case of disruption to peace and harmony in the world today despite the church teachings of peace as stipulated by Jesus Christ. However, the researcher is examining the role of church in ensuring peace and harmony in the society.

Bassey Andah Jounal

1.3   Objectives of the Study

The following are the objectives of this study:

1.  To examine the role of church in ensuring peace and harmony in the society.

2.  To examine the dictates of the church as regards peace and harmony.

3.  To identify the factors disrupting peace and harmony of the society.

Nigerian Bishops conclude Plenary Assembly - Vatican News

1.4   Significance Of The Study

The following are the significance of this study:

1.  The findings of this study will be useful for the government, church leaders and the general public on the role of the church in ensuring sustainable peace and harmony in the society.

2.  This research will also serve as a resource base to other scholars and researchers interested in carrying out further research in this field subsequently, if applied will go to an extent to provide new explanation to the topic.

How To Attain Religious Harmony In Nigeria By Osinbajo & World Methodist  Leader - Prof. Yemi Osinbajo (SAN) | Prof. Yemi Osinbajo (SAN) .::. The  Office of the Vice-President of the Federal

1.5   Scope of the Study

This study will cover the position of the church and Christianity in general as regards the issue of societal peace and harmony using Christ Apostolic Church, Life and power District as a case study.

1.6       Limitations of the Study

1.        Financial constraint- Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).

2.        Time constraint- The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work

Statements for Peaceful Coexistence | KAICIID

1.7. Definition of Terms

Role: According to an online Dictionary, Role is defined as the function assumed or part played by a person or thing in a particular situation.5

Church: According to an Online Dictionary, Church is defined as a building used for public Christian worship.6

Ensuring: According to Cambridge Online Dictionary, Ensure is defined as a way to make something certain to happen7

Peace: According to Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, Peace is defined as a state of transquility or quiet.8

Harmony: According to Cambridge Online Dictionary, Harmony is defined as a situation in which people are peaceful and agree with each other, or when things seem right or suitable together9.

Society: According to an Online English Dictionary, Society is defined as the aggregate of people living together in a more or less ordered community.10

Endnotes

  1. Albert I.O, “An Alternative Explanation of Religious Fundamentalism in Northern Nigeria”. Accessed on 1—10/03/2021 at http://www.ng.boell.org/downloads/Alternative_Explanations_of_Religious_Fundamentalism_in_Nigeria(2).pdf, March 2021).
  2. David P. Barash, “Approaches to Peace, A Reader in Peace Studies”, (Oxford University Press, 2000). 50.
  3. Adetula A. M (2006), “Religious Conflicts in Nigeria and its Implications for Political Stability”, (Medwell Journals, The Social Sciences, 2006), 3(2): 121.
  4. B. Salawu. “Ethno-Religious Conflicts in Nigeria: Causal Analysis and Proposals for New Management Strategies”.  (2010)
  5. www.businessdictionary.com/definition/role accessed on 20 March 2021
  6. https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/church accessed on 20 March 2021
  7. https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ensure accessed on 20 February 2021
  8. https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/peace accessed on 20 March 2021
  9. https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/harmony accessed on 20 Marc 20h21
  10. www.businessdictionary.com/definition/Society accessed on 20 March 2021

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