National President of the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN), Reverend Felix Omobude, has said the persecution of Christians would not abate because it is one of the signs of the end time.
Omobude stated this while featuring in a programme, “The Fathers” on Dove Television.
The programme was anchored by Dele Oke.
Omobude, who is also the General Superintendent of the Covenant Church, with its headquarters in Benin City, Edo State, Nigeria, debunked claim that the PFN and its parent body, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) have not sufficiently protected believers in the country.
“I think people who hold that kind of assertion in my own view they are not fair to the bodies,” he said.
“Number 1, is there increase in the persecution of the church? Of course, the evidences are there. We have had cases of intolerance against the church. We have had cases of churches burnt. We have had cases of people being killed just because they went for early morning cry.
“We are all aware of activities and onslaught of Boko Haram against the church in which many pastors and ministers lost their lives and their churches burnt.
“When we live Godly in Christ Jesus we suffer persecution. It is not going to abate. If you look at end time signs you will know it is part of the mark. We are being persecuted because we are relevant.”
Speaking further, Omobude said, “Whether CAN or PFN has come out in defence of the church, I can say to a large extent, yes. I will agree that probably we could do more.
“Most of the people who criticise these organs, if you ask them how much do you subscribe to these organisations. You will be shocked. If every Pentecostal church supports PFN, PFN will be able to do more than we are doing now. If all the churches are loyal to the CAN of course they will be able to do more.
“And again, is CAN going to raise arm against the nation? No. We can’t tear this nation apart. PFN will not. We stand on what is right at all time. This needs the cooperation of everyone.
“When my friend, Pastor Ayo was there, the immediate past president of CAN, I know over 80 per cent of the criticisms he got were from the church. I think that we cannot all be the same but we must rally round our leadership in these organs and they will be more effective.”
The cleric said despite the persecution, Christians in Nigeria would not react violently, noting that believers don’t fight with physical arms.
He said the church would continue to use established biblical medium to propagate the gospel of Jesus Christ.
He said, “The church will continue to use every medium to propagate the gospel. We don’t carry gun, we don’t carry arrow, we don’t use gun. We use the Bible, we use the power of the Holy Spirit and persuasion and that will continue. We can’t stop that.”
Omobude, who was recently re-elected as PFN leader for a second term, said he had provided the group good leadership with clear achievement.
He said on assumption of duty, he set an agenda for himself, the first of which was to unite the group than he met it.
According to him, “First on my list was to try and unite the body more than I met it, to give the Pentecostal a more responsible and respectable image, try to synchronise and harmonise our strength and weaknesses.
“Of course, There are projects that we executed like the Secretariat building in Lagos. It was started before I came in. I have been privileged of completing it and have it dedicated.
“The constitution I met, PFN seemed to have outgrown the constitution and so we reviewed the constitution.
“In my effort to strengthen our unity, I commenced a tour of the states of the federation. I went round to about 22 out of the 36 states. I have not been to Kano, Sokoto, Nasarawa all the six geographical zones. It’s an ongoing project.
“It is believed that many of the Pentecostal leaders around the nations of the world are offspring of the Pentecostal revival from Nigeria. So we set up the PFN in Diaspora. There is a Diaspora Commission now in PFN. We have started inaugurating chapters. In Liberia, we inaugurated, Togo, South Africa and a few other nations.
“It is bringing together all our extended arms and of course some may go into excesses but we try to gospel that we preach. These are some of my humble efforts.”
The PFN president, however, there are still challenges in the Fellowship.
He said, “We still have challenges in Pentecostal fellowship. It’s like a kingdom with many kings. This one is Bishop, this one is Bishop. Sometimes I wonder why they don’t chose ordinary pastors (as title).
“I must commend them for the respect they have for my person. I believe come we should come together irrespective of achievements.
“In the essentials, we should plead unity, in the non-essentials we should plead liberty. We should work on this and ensure that we minor on our minuses and major on our majors. That is the way it is.”