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Onitsha agog as CMS marks 159th anniversary of Christianity in Igboland

By Nwabueze Okonkwo

ONITSHA—Anglican Church faithful in the Diocese on the Niger yesterday embarked on a road show in the commercial city of Onitsha, Anambra State to celebrate 159th anniversary of the advent of Christianity in Igboland, championed by the Church Missionary Society, CMS, led by Bishop Samuel Ajayi Crowther.

Activities of the events which is celebrated annually by the Anglican faithful, varied from Diocesan to Archdeaconry levels.

While the worshippers at All Saints’ Cathedral, Onitsha, the headquarters of the Diocese on the Niger embarked on the road show in a convoy of vehicles along Awka road to drive home their joy, the Onitsha South Archdeaconry embarked on prayers, general thanksgiving and drama presentation by the Archdeaconry drama team.

In his remarks, the Archdeacon of Onitsha South Archdeaconry, Venerable Patrick Nwakalor emphasised the need for Anglican faithful to hold tenaciously to their strong heritage as the first christian denomination to bring gospel to Igboland in 1857, 28 years before the advent of the Roman Catholic Mission in 1885.

Nwakalor further charged all and sundry to be selfless in their evangelical attitude as the early missionaries did, adding that it was the same early missionaries of the CMS that brought the schools and hospitals to educate the people and give them good health, as well as stopped other obnoxious practices in Igboland.

In his sermon, the Parish Priest of St. Faith Church, Fegge, Onitsha, Rev. Dan Uche, traced the history of the early missionaries which he said brought succour to mankind, adding that although slave trade was officially abolished on March 25, 1807, it did not stop untill 1833 when a group of evangelical protestants led by William Wilberforce ensured its final abolition.


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