By Ononye VC
As Nigeria marches towards the 2023 elections, the Catholic Archbishop of Abuja Diocese, Ignatius Kaigama on Sunday warned religious leaders preaching miracles and prosperity against dabbling into politics in the name of divine prophecy.

The cleric said religious leaders must resist the temptation to do the bidding of influential Nigerians by prophesying electoral victory or massaging their worldly ego and during public religious gatherings.

While calling on the nation’s leaders to accept rejection and criticisms, he said true Prophets do not just glorify predicting the political future of political parties but rather serve the people of God.

According to him, such predictions “are mere fruits of political calculations or pure guess work, and may not be a result of any special supernatural or divine revelation.”

Kaigama stated these in his Homily delivered at St. James Parish, Dawaki in Abuja.

He said, “The story of Jesus’ rejection by His towns people should challenge leaders to accept rejection and criticism even when they think they are doing their best; after all, their best may not be what the people cherish.

“For us religious leaders, we must remain ardent in preaching the truth with courage and not be deterred even by threats to life. We are called to be the Jeremiah of our day: tell truth to power. Unfortunately, many religious leaders who are sadly preaching miracles and prosperity are now dabbling into political forecasting in the name of divine prophecy.

“When they claim that party A or B will win elections in a given State, or nation, or a certain strong political personality will win rather than the other, these are mere fruits of political calculations or pure guess work, and may not be a result of any special supernatural or divine revelation.

“Serious religious leaders must not arrogate to themselves prophetic political certitude by such distracting predictions, when they should be only concerned with issues of moral regeneration of lives and the constant call to spiritual decency.

“Prophets should worry rather about people encouraging them to do away with a mentality that rationalizes sin, corruption and calls evil, good. True Prophets don’t just glory in predicting the political future; they are rather to serve the people of God and to bring God’s word to them; to be models and witnesses by the edifying words that come from their lips and the courageous witness of their lives.

“Unlike many contemporary ministers who are out to seek a ministry of comfort, affluence and convenience, the priest is called to identify with his flock in their social and existential contexts, and in the words of Pope Francis, “to smell like the sheep”.

“Religious leaders must resist the temptation to do influential people’s bidding by prophesying electoral victory or massaging their worldly ego and during public religious gatherings.”

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