The Christian Association of Nigeria has urged Christians to be at alert and security conscious during this year's Christmas celebration.
In a statement on Thursday, CAN President, Samson Ayokunle, said Christians should also observe the COVID-19 protocols in places of worship or in any public gathering for the general good.
He said, "As we rejoice and celebrate, let us be security conscious and observe the COVID-19 protocols in our places of worship or in any public gathering for our general good."
The president also said situations surrounding the Christmas celebration for 2020 in the country were similar to the events that heralded the birth of Jesus.
He therefore prayed for an end to the menace of insecurity largely caused by terrorists, killer herdsmen, bandits and kidnappers in the country.
It reads, "Christmas is not a myth, not a tradition, not a dream. It is a glorious reality. It is a time of joy. Bethlehem's manger became the link that binds the lost world to a loving God. From the manger came the Saviour who did not only teach us a new way of life, but brought us into a new relationship with our God.
"Christmas means God is interested in the affairs of people, that God loves us so much that He willingly gave us His only begotten Son in order for us to become His children. To us, as Christians, the joy of Christmas is not limited to His birth. It is built even more on the triumph of His death and resurrection- that gave meaning to His birth. The mysterious spirit of generosity which possesses us at Christmas is the afterglow of Calvary.
"The fact of the cross illuminates Christmas Day and hallows it. Christmas is also a season to advocate peace in the world that is full of wars, strife, terrorism, banditry, kidnapping, armed robberies and other criminality. Jesus is the Prince of Peace and He came to give us peace. To preach good tidings unto the meek; to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; to give to us beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that we might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.
"It is painful that many people are mourning due to the demise of their loved ones as a result of COVID-19 pandemic, terrorism, kidnappings and other criminality. Remember that Jesus was also born during the darkest time in Israel's history. Israel was under the tyrannical rule of the Romans. Yet the Angel announced the birth of Jesus as the glad tidings to the world. So, I urge those who are mourning to rejoice in hope that they too are still alive. I pray for the comfort of the Holy Spirit for all those who lost their loved ones for one reason or the other. May the birth of the Saviour mark the end of coronavirus and every evil in our land. May it herald a new season of prosperity, full recovery and great joy in the name of Jesus.
"May the Lord help our governments to rise up competently and stop the menace of insecurity occasioned by the terrorists, killer herdsmen, bandits and kidnappers in Jesus’ name. Year 2020 will be the last year of COVID-19 globally in Jesus’ Name."