Jos — Following the allegation of rape against Pastor Biodun Fatoyinbo of the Commonwealth of Zion Assembly (COZA) by Busola Dakolo, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has denied the clergyman, saying COZA is not a member of the association.
In a statement signed by its National Director, Legal and Public Affairs, Kwamkur Samuel Vondip, CAN said: "The association recognises that COZA, to the best of our knowledge, is not a member of any of the families that belong to CAN.
"CAN, as an association, is equally sad that there have been recurrent allegations of rape and infidelity against some gospel ministers and other Christians as well.
"While efforts must be made to get to the root of the matter through thorough investigation, the association condemns totally any act of infidelity either by a pastor or any member of the church of God. Immoral relationships with anybody in the society are against the teachings of the Bible and the church, and we urge all believers all over the country to run away from them."
The association, therefore, urged all ministers of the gospel to shun all appearances of evil, especially unregulated closeness to persons in the church, adding that rape by every standard is sinful and an act of wickedness.
On the flip side, CAN also strongly appealed to all Christians to avoid blackmail against any brother or sister in the church for whatever reason.
The statement read: "The association understands the challenges of preachers who, by virtue of their position as parents of all in the church, may stand the danger of being accused. All Christians, leaders most especially, must be circumspect in the way they walk, not as unwise but as wise, understanding what the will of the Lord is."
Calling on the security agents and the judiciary to redouble their efforts in prosecuting the various cases of rape and other heinous crimes that are presently bedeviling the society without fear or prejudice, CAN empathised with the ladies who leveled allegations against Pastor Fatoyinbo and other ministers whose stories are trending presently.
"We pray for them that to the extent to which they are true and sincere, God would strengthen and comfort them in their fight for justice. "The association equally recognises that this is a very hard time for the Christian Church in Nigeria, especially for worshipers in COZA and all other churches whose pastors are accused; their love for their leaders will be under trial and their gratitude to God for the many good things they have learned from their leaders may be under challenge. We pray that God will see us through and give the Christian Church grace to pull through this trying period.
"We are also deeply concerned for the families of Pastor Fatoyinbo and other pastors accused, for whom this period must be one of a great pain. May God grant justice to all and vindicate all who are innocent," CAN said.