The church in Nigeria should do more when it has to do with issues of rape.
Rape anywhere in the world is a sensitive issue.
In Nigeria, people are talking more about it thanks to the rise of social media. What was formerly hidden in homes is now being spoken of on timelines.
A recent story that should make all of us think about the rape culture in the country is that of a man of God reportedly paying the bail bond of three rapists. The man of God is none other than Apostle Johnson Suleman.
According to The Cable, Apostle Suleman paid the bail bond of seven prisoners from Auchi Prison in Edo state. The prisoners were all given the option of fine.
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On Sunday, July 23, 2017, at the headquarters of Omega Fire Ministries, Apostle Suleman paid for the bail of the lucky seven. He informed the congregation that N1.5M to free them.
Three out of the seven prisoners were rapists. Two of them were sent to prison in March 2017 for raping a 16-year-old girl. The other prisoner was a paedophile who defiled a 3-year-old girl in May 2017.
At the church service, the man of God told the prisoners "It is important that we get you out… We are not getting you out so that you go back to crime because God does not give third chance, He may give second chance."
An action like this is very worrisome. It is sad to know that rapist can get out of jail because someone paid their bail. Conviction of rape should come with a mandatory service. There should be no leniency or pardon when it comes to this matter.
The society, state and the church have the responsibility of protecting women and children. If we allow paedophiles and convicted rapists to walk free what does that say about us as a people?
According to The Cable, when the 3-year-old saw her molester after he was released she went into a coma. The young girl's mind is fractured and will need a lot of therapy to heal. One of the ways she can start her healing process is by knowing that her molester is behind bars and will spend a long time there.
We can't comment on Apostle Suleman's role in this. The man of God has not yet released a statement. Pulse reached out to his camp and it has not yielded any result.
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Forgiveness is one of the core tenets of Christianity. The rapists could have become born again. Christianity also preaches justice. Because you are born again doesn't mean you won't pay for your crimes. Christianity shouldn't be about blind pardoning but accepting the responsibility of your sins and atoning for them. In this case, it is by serving full time in jail.
Our attitude towards rape in this country is still in the dark ages just like almost everything else. If justice cannot be found in the House of God, where shall we seek justice?
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