Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo has called for prayers for leaders in the country, saying governance is spiritual warfare.
Osinbajo spoke on Tuesday at the inauguration of the auditorium of Deeper Christian Life Ministry headquarters at Gbagada, Lagos State.
He, however, faulted people who criticise Christians in government.
While making reference to how Esther in the Bible delivered the Israelites, he urgedChristians to pray more, saying governance is a spiritual warfare.
He said, “Those of us Christians in government, we are sometimes referred to as Esthers; we are told that we are in office for such a time as this.
“What is often forgotten is that when Mordecai told Esther that she was in the palace for such a time as this, Esther replied in Esther 4:16, ‘Go and gather all the Jews that are in Shusan and fast for me, neither eat for three days – night and day. My maids will fast likewise and I will go to the king, which is against the law, and if I perish, I perish.’
“This I say to the church as well; it is the duty of the church to pray for those in government; the church should uphold the hands of those in government, not by complaining, but by supporting us in the place of prayer. Governance is spiritual warfare. Anyone that does not know that, I know that governance is spiritual warfare and I ask that you pray for us who are in position of authority in this land.”
The Vice-President said the crises in North-East and other parts of the country were caused by Satan’s opposition to the spread of the gospel.
Osinbajo, who condemned the persecution of Christians in some parts of the country, said that President Muhammadu Buhari had asked him to take up cases where people were prevented from building religious places of worship.
He said, “First, there is even a resistance to building of churches. There are specific cases and places where specific allegations are made of valid applications made to build churches that have been refused. The President has mandated me to take up those cases with specific states and authorities. The right to freedom of worship is also a right to build places of worship.
“Second is the physical persecution of Christians, a phenomenon we have seen for years. Just this morning on my way here, I was notified of the violation of a Catholic church in Benue State by armed killers, who went there while a burial mass was taking place and killed the priest and some worshippers.
“It is not only a heinous sacrilege, but high wickedness to kill persons in the place of worship. As I discuss these issues with the President and other members in the securitycouncil, it is evident to me and to many that the devil’s biggest agenda is to stoke up a religious conflict in Nigeria; one that will make it impossible for anyone to preach the gospel or even Muslims to worship in their mosques. A few days ago in Bama, a mosque was burnt and many died.
“While the security agencies continue to work relentlessly to hunt down the perpetrators of this evil acts and bring a permanent end to all killings going on in the name of herdsmen or Boko Haram or in any other name. We, as the body of Christ, must not lose focus. We are called to bring men and women to salvation: all men and women, even those who kill and persecute us.
“The enemy wants us to stand on our pulpit and preach hate. But we will not. We will obey our Lord Jesus Christ, who said that we must love our enemies and preach to even those who persecute us. There is nobody born or yet to be born that can stop the march of the gospel of Jesus Christ.”
Osinbajo, while lauding Deeper Life for its investment in a flyover and streetlights to ease traffic in the neighbourhood, said the edifice is the fourth largest auditorium in the world.
He described General Superintendent of the Church, Mr William Kumuyi, as “a man of uncommon humility and commitment to the spread of the undiluted gospel of Jesus Christ with candour and integrity.”
The Vice-President urged the cleric to continue to preach “righteousness and righteous behaviour” as the government battles corruption.
The event featured musical performances from children, youths, campus and adult ministries of the church.
Kumuyi thanked members and leaders of the church for contributing towards the success of the project, saying the church went beyond its initial plans by constructing the flyover and streetlights as part of its corporate social responsibility.
He said it took the church 13 years to construct the 30,000-seater church.