UROMI - Clergy and laity of the Esan Diocese, Anglican Communion during the weekend embarked on a procession in Uromi, over the burning of St. Paul’s Anglican Church, Uromi, Esan North East Local Government Area of Edo State by suspected arsonists.
The Anglicans who were dressed in black, marched through the ever busy Ubiaja Road from Eguare Primary School to Angle 90 before returning to the burnt church.
They carried placards with various inscriptions and sang songs of lamentations as they marched through the road.
Speaking on the procession, the Archbishop of Bendel Province and Bishop of Esan Diocese, Most Rev’d Friday Imaekhai said the exercise was designed to invoke God to forgive those behind the burning of the church, as they do not know what they have done.
Archbishop of Imaekhai said burning of God’s church was a form of gate of hell, as the consequences would always be disastrous.
He noted that they were taking advantage of the lent period , which is a time of seeking forgiveness of sin and repentance to embrace Christ.
He added that the procession was equally to put the Uromi community into the hands of God as well as the perpetrators of the crime.
On how to rebuild the church, the religious leader said the diocese was relying on well to do children of God to assist in rebuilding the church, noting however, that the church was yet to receive responses.
In an exhortation at the premises of the burnt church, the Archdeacon of Iruekpen, Ven. Andre Isibor admonished the congregation not to be deterred by the razing of the church, but should rather turn it into strength.
He said the razing of the church was nothing compared to what Christian brethren experience in some parts of northern Nigeria and some other parts of the world.
Ven. Isibor said in an interview that the procession was a response to the burning down of the church, and holy call on the entire Uromi community to come to repentance.
He called on the perpetrators of the crime, to come out and confess, warning however, that in the event that they continue in their evil doing, they would be punished.
The Vicar of the burnt St. Paul’s Church, Ven. (Dr) Joseph Aisivbioje said, the procession was a replica of the biblical procession round the Wall of Jericho, in which God intervened.