Nigerian Catholic Archbishop Declares ‘If You Care About Christ Then Stop Complaining About Islam, Pick Up Your Cross And Start Evangelizing Muslims’

Archbishop Johan Onaiyekan of Abuja, Nigeria gave an impassioned speech to the Christians of Nigeria. He noted that while recognizing the persecution that Christians suffer, Christians must accept it as part of their faith, pick up their cross, and start reaching out to convert Muslims instead of complaining about them:

The Catholic Archbishop of Abuja, John Onaiyekan, has called on Christians to rise up and Christianise Nigeria instead of complaining that Muslims want to Islamise the nation.

Mr. Onaiyekan, a cardinal, made the call in his homily at a Mass to celebrate the Sacrament of Confirmation at Our Lady of Perpertual Help Parish, Gwarinpa II on Sunday in Abuja.

“So, let nobody deceive you, I don’t think there is anybody who has plan to Islamise Nigeria, but even if they do, they have every right to do so.

“They have every right to do so provided they also know that I have the right to Christianise the whole of Nigeria.

“The answer is not in complaining and crying; stand up like a man and Christianise Nigeria,’’ the cardinal said.

He said that Christians had the mandate to preach Jesus Christ to everyone without being distracted with material things.

Mr. Onaiyekan urged Christians to defend their faith by preaching the gospel in words and deeds without compromising the message of the Cross.

He said that the disciples of Christ preached the crucified Christ, accepted persecution and that many even died for their faith.

“People complain that Christianity is being persecuted; they are saying that some people want to Islamise the nation. Just know that nobody can’t Islamise you unless you agree to be Islamised.

“For as long as you are not ready to stand up and carry the Cross, you are on the verge of losing your faith; if you don’t want to lose your promotion for Christ sake, you are also not worthy to be a Christian.

“Anybody who presents another programme different from the programme of Jesus Christ on the Cross will lose, you will drop; you will just drop like an overripe apple.”

According to him, Christians cannot achieve the feat by compromising their faith, it can only be achieved by carrying their cross and following Christ.

“You don’t Christianise the nation by standing up and looking for prosperity or material benefits.

“You Christianise a nation, if you are ready to stand up for the truth, preach the gospel, carry the Cross and follow the Lord Jesus.’’

Quoting from the Gospel of Mathew Chapter 10 verses 37 to 42, Mr. Onaiyekan said that anyone who loved his or her mother, father, children, husband more than Christ is not worthy of His kingdom.

He, however, said that the message of Cross is that of salvation, which was gradually being reduced to the message of prosperity, adding that it was natural to face suffering in the world.

The cardinal said that Christianity had survived over 2,000 years and the religion became more established even when the apostles faced persecution and were even killed.

“The apostles went through horrible suffering because of that, the Church took root when everybody thought it was the end of the story of Jesus, who died on the Cross.

“That is the mystery of Christianity, if it is not God’s own doing, Christianity would not have survived,” he said. (source)

Christians are indeed persecuted in Nigeria, but as the good archbishop points out persecution is not only to be expected as a Christian and that as a Christian, to follow Christ is to walk in the way of sorrows leading to the cross that will bring a man to life everlasting. Nobody denies the suffering of Christians. However, as he alludes to, being a Christian has nothing to do with the popular “prosperity gospel” preacher or form of “popular” Christianity.

Christ came to save all men, and He has entrusted Christians with the responsibility of executing His mission of salvation on Earth. Surely not all Muslims will listen, and some people will fight aggressively, but nobody can know about Christ unless told, for faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the proclamation of the word of God.

Nobody truly becomes a Christian because it is enjoyable. They become it because it is true and the only way to salvation, for as Christ Himself said, I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life, and nobody comes to the Father except through me.



  • filomena seiffert

    He is right. Christianity was spread not by force or complaints by the love the Christians had for each other, how they helped each other attracted others to join the sheepfold, thus was in the beginning.

    • JamieAllen

      Islam has had 1400 years to convert; time to accept the fact they are lost.

    • Kelly Ann

      Which Isis boast makes Christians easy prey, n easy to kill because they don’t fight back, so genocide is a easy task.

      • filomena seiffert

        True, but there is no way they can defend themselves against terrorists armed with the most lethal weapons and in great numbers. The battle is fierce with trained armies, the casualties high, no way civilians can fight, if they do the punishment from those devils would be beyond everything we know. Love and meekness was the way Christianity convinced pagans to join the faith. I still think one has the right to defend self when it is possible. If one person try to rape or kill me I would kill that person if I could.

        • Kelly Ann

          There’s nothing wrong with being a crusader, without them Christianity would not have any roots left in the Middle East, defending the faith by sword sometimes is a must by divine providence as Our Lord gave the church two swords. I like how Father Hesse put it as he quoted Our Lord, quote ” I did not come to bring the peace but the sword , and today that sword is a 50 cal machine gun not a sword anymore. ” end quote.

          Something I’ve had to learn about is the teaching on Christian charity.
          We have to be mindful of the differences between liberal charity and Christian charity. Christian Charity admonishes evil while the liberal charity tolerates evil. Our Lord practiced it, he often admonished them, and they hated him for it, because they didn’t like being corrected.

          To love your neighbour is not always a big hug n acceptance of who they are as sinners, Its A Christian duty to correct them from error n tell them the truth, n most times they hate you for it. It’s a hard balance to practice without solid preparation for it. Where as liberal charity is very easy to do…flattery nice compliments etc….is unchristian in charity because it expresses that they are fine the way they are in this life and they they don’t need to correct their ways.

          Love of neighbour It’s all about the salvation of souls. It’s nice to hear someone tell you that Jesus loves you, but in most cases it don’t work. As This is common knowledge and words that have been repeated more than I can count, yet here we are living in a society that is growing more Godless by the day. So I had to ask myself what is wrong with this picture.

          There’s a lot to learn about Christian charity. But when error takes hold of it, it can turn into yet another heresy. And today liberal charity is in a tug of war with Christian charity. Liberal charity takes the concepts of Christian charity and makes it all about man while Christian charity is all about God and the salvation of souls.

          I was reading in the commentaries of the early church fathers on the gospel, they spoke about how Our Lord performed so many miracles of healing and such, but even then man was more concerned about their temporial welfare rather than their spiritual welfare , and Our Lord knew this, he expressed this very clearly in his comment concerning the cursed generation He was walking among , he often used parables to express it as well.

          • filomena seiffert

            You are right! we have the right to defend ourselves when necessary. It the crusades had started early the muslim killers would not take so much of the middle east. It pains me to know they practically erased Christianity in the already converted countries like Syria, Iraq and others. Many big mouth only see bad on the crusaders because the death toll, they forget the casualties on the crusaders side was very heavy also. I believe we should never attack anyone that is mind his own business, it would be a heavy crime. A person that can get along with everyone is already a living saint.

          • Kelly Ann

            Naw I’m not right, almighty God is.
            G k Chesterton met with politicians for an interview, they ask him quote ” Chesterton what’s wrong with the world .” Chesterton replied ” good sirs, I’m what’s wrong with the world. “

  • Juan

    Christians today are lazy and some of them even worse: some of them are islamic friendly, specially in some parts of Middle East some Arab Christians show an open sympathy towards islam and specially sufism; they like Chrislam.
    They just prefer the people of their own race; sad but true for some Christian Arabs.
    What people would think if, following the same criteria, European Christians would start mixing Christianity and European paganism just because at the end we have the same blood?
    If racism is not valid for Europeans it isn’t valid for Middle Easterners.
    I like this black African bishop, as I like so much cardinal Sarah. Black people have so much more to complaint about Europeans and Arabs (they enslaved the Blacks before the Europeans and they also enslaved Europeans) but they tend to be more natural, more clear and not living in perpetual hate like I sadly observe in some Middle Easterners.
    These Chrislamic individuals and groups are playing with fire/nar.

  • Kamau41

    Absolutely love what Archbishop, John Onaiyekan, says:
    “For as long as you are not ready to stand up and carry the Cross, you are on the verge of losing your faith; if you don’t want to lose your promotion for Christ sake, you are also not worthy to be a Christian. Anybody who presents another programme different from the programme of Jesus Christ on the Cross will lose, you will drop; you will just drop like an overripe apple.” WOW, now that’s very powerful/impactful.

    This is all so very consistent with Jesus’s message for us today:

    “Then Jesus said to his disciples: If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For he that will save his life, shall lose it: and he that shall lose his life for my sake, shall find it. For what doth it profit a man, if he gain the whole world, and suffer the loss of his own soul? Or what exchange shall a man give for his soul? For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels: and then will he render to every man according to his works.”(Matt 16:24-27)

  • jmaggief

    How do you evangelize a group of armed Muslims standing in front of you who have the gun pointed at your head and will blow u away in 2 seconds? I don’t think even St. Paul told the martyrs of his day to stop complaining about being fed to the loins. Or did he tell them to evangelize the loins or the Romans? I’d appreciate if someone could give me some verses about this.

    • Randy Perez

      Not all muslims are going to try to kill you. Stop exaggerating.

  • Michelle Therese

    I keep praying for a good solid African pope!

    • Kamau41


  • Julie LaBrecque

    His message is in stark contrast to every TV preacher –

  • Ceirwyn

    This guy has the right idea. Meanwhile in Rome, Cardinals at the Vatican are getting busted in their drug sodomite hazed orgy:

    And we wonder what’s wrong with European Christianity these days.

  • JamieAllen

    So many of us feel sorry for the moslem, but also KNOW they have had 1400 years to accept Jesus Christ, and they’ve rejected him. Tell them twice TWICE twice and then move on, we’ve to move on.

  • filomena seiffert

    it has to be free. Jesus never forced or induced anyone to believe Him, has to be by choice or the grace of God, example of grace is Saint Paul.

  • Kelly Ann

    Has not this archbishop learned what the church has always instructed concerning the order n methods of Evangelization is basic catechism knowledge. is he trapped in cultural relativism?

  • filomena seiffert

    Eu suponho voce fala portugues, eu tambem e uma de minhas irmas atend pelo nome alfa.