The Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Bishop Matthew Hassan Kukah said yesterday that, Leah Sharipu, the only Dapchi girl who was denied freedom by Boko Haram for refusing to denounce her faith was a true model of Christianity.
Kukah, who spoke during the year’s Priestly Vows Renewal Mass for all priests in the Diocese added that the constitutionguarantees freedom of worship and should be upheld by all.
While insisting that the act of using compulsion by any individual, group(s) or society to either convert somebody from Christianity to Islam or Islam to Christianity remained condemnable, Bishop Kukah said Leah was able to prove to her abductors that, she is a Christian and will forever be even with the threat to her life.
According to him, Leah’s courage and faith has not only done her parents proud for demonstrating such sound upbringing, but also made all Christians proud that no amount of travail could deter them from their faith.
“How many Christians can boost of saying even if we are not alive, our children can live to profess the Christian faith despite persecution?
“Our responsibility as Christians goes beyond being a member of a Church, associations and bodies, rather we have to start engaging in pastoral life. Everything we do in the Church is of no value unless we engage in holiness directed at making heaven.
“Thousands of Nigerian Christians suffer the same fate as Leah, because they are denied promotions, appointments, employments, unjust dismissal amongst numerous other forms of injustices”.
Kukah who urged all Nigerian Christians to continue praying for Leah, said he is optimistic that her incarceration was simply a matter of time, hence God would intervene in His miraculous way soon.
He opined that, Leah’s courage to face the deadly sect and confront them with the true word of God was a demonstration of the fact that, no amount of tribulations can stop Christianity in Nigeria.
Bishop Kukah who reminded Christians that they will surely face persecution for their faith, hence the devil does not exist in fiction, urged Christians to remain steadfast in God, adding that they will surely overcome.
“The devil is always with us, has body, faces and positions. The devil will continue to tell us to denounce our religion for earthly gains,” he noted.