Kidnapping: A Threat to the Survival and Stability of the Church in Nigeria
Keywords:Kidnapping, Church, Nigeria
The Church whose prophetic vocation is the extension and implementation of the mission of God in the world (Nigeria) is currently being challenged by incessant kidnappings which cut across all institutions and all classes of people including students some of which are tortured, killed or left with serious traumatic experiences. The primary purpose of this paper is to address the menace of kidnapping as a prevailing security challenge and how the church can continue to be relevant in this kind of environment. This paper adopted the use of primary sources which highlighted available relevant literature including current media report through which Nigeria’s horrific situation is laid bare. Engaging the functionalist perspective of deviant approach and the Marxist view on crime, this paper argues that unequal opportunities for the citizenry to realize their potentials brings about what Merton calls innovation which sums up the reason for resorting to other means (kidnapping). This paper further argues that, the fact that critical institutions including the church are languishing under the very watch of the Government whose primary responsibility is to protect lives and properties of the citizens clearly demonstrates that the nation (Nigeria) is at war with itself. Many have written on insecurity (kidnapping) bedeviling our Nation but have however, paid little attention on how the church is somewhat affected. The research reveals among others that kidnapping affects the church in the aspect of reaching out (evangelism), and because some of the leaders and members of the church are held hostage or killed, the Christian populace are like sheep without a shepherd/shepherd without the sheep. This paper therefore recommends among others that the church should remain true/faithful to its calling, unite and not be divided against itself and Government should employ and equip more security personnel to be stationed permanently in churches and schools.
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