Oyedepo, Oyakhilome, Ashimolowo, Others Come Under Attack At Humanist Forum in Abuja; Sheila Solarin Urges Nigerians To Fight for A Better Society

Bishop David Oyedepo
By SaharaReporters, New York

Stupendously wealthy Nigerian Pentecostal preachers and clerics have come under serious attack at the two-day national convention of the   Nigerian Humanist Movement (NHM), which ended Saturday afternoon in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.

The forum brought together students, children, scholars, government officials, atheists, sceptics, rationalists, agnostics, freethinkers and professionals from different fields to discuss Humanism as the next step in Nigeria.

Declaring open the forum which marked the 15th anniversary of the birth of  the NHM, Leo Igwe, the administrative secretary of the Oyo State –NHM,  told  participants that many people  across  Nigeria and the world  were looking up to them. “Meetings like this should spread message of reason, science and free inquiry, and usher in an era  of positive  and progressive change, hope and light,” he charged.

Speakers and participants after one another slammed the various rulers of the Nigerian state, past and present, as well as citizens for allowing  a great  nation like Nigeria to tumble into a chaotic religious jungle with poverty, disease, ignorance, corruption and crime to rule.

In the first paper, “Invitation To Humanism? What’s On Offer ? Dr. Tunde  Arogundade,  a  UK-based  politician scientist and  humanist, revealed that he had obtained information about the forum on June 8, 2011 from SaharaReporters, which he declared to be his church. He advised all to always visit the online site, which he described as, an “authoritative, reliable news source.”
According to Dr. Arogundade, “Youths instead of going to church should befriend it. We need change that will bring good, peace for us all.”

Expressing shock that there were humanists in Nigeria, he said, “Evangelists  in Nigeria have developed  serious business acumen  that is the envy of many  non-spiritual  entrepreneurs. The trick of business diversification has not been lost to the likes of David Oyedepo, Chris Oyakhilome, Chris Okotie  and Mattew Ashimolowo etc.”

He noted that in combination, their  churches have cornered  a significant percentage of Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). “Super pastors own  a variety of businesses,” he stressed.  “The sheer opulence of some of the most successful churches has given rise to the calls that the churches be taxed  like a company, a money making enterprise.”

Steve O. Okecha, a  distinguished  Professor of Chemistry  at the office of the Minister of Education, Federal secretariat, Abuja, also presented a paper entitled, “ Science and Superstition in Nigeria; A Lop-Sided Partnership “

Okecha attributed the slow pace of development in the country largely to superstition and ignorance, arguing that Nigerians over the years have not lived up to scientific ideas.
The Delta State born scientist described superstition as a national cancer in Nigeria. In his view, “Most Nigerians of all age-grades and different levels of education  and exposure are superstitious.  You can have a  degree in any of the science subjects. That doesn’t make one a scientist. But one without any science degree can be scientific. A scientist must ask critical questions”.

Also at the forum, 86-year-old Sheila Solarin, widow  of Dr. Tai Solarin, the popular Nigerian civil rights campaigner, writer  and atheist, sent a strong  and well-written solidarity message to participants.

The unapologetic British atheist, who could not appear on account of health problems, challenged Nigerians to reject religion, stating that it has done more harm than good to Nigerians  and the nation.  He called upon young people, in particular, to pursue good knowledge, science and reason, to doubt, and to criticize.

Like Mrs Solarin, many people around the world also extended their solidarity to the NH  on its 15th birthday. They included Norman Allen, secretary of the Institute of Science and Human Values; Tanya Smith, President of Atheist Alliance International, a global network of atheists and free-thought groups and individuals committed to promoting atheism, secularism and related issues; Dr. Bill Cooke, Director of international programs of the Centre  for Inquiry; and John Dowdle Mafrsa, President  of Watford Area Humanists

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leave oyedepo,and oyakhilome alone,humanist

humanists u guys jst exhibitd a high level of stupidy and timidity,una d craz..leave prophets aln u didnt cl dm..neither did u ancestors,idiotttts

As much as I don't like the

As much as I don't like the growth of pentecostal churches in many regions of Africa I think these humanist got it all wrong. They are simplifying the problems that many in Nigeria are facing including the religious problem which is coupled with ignorance. By placing all the blame on fake pastors ministers and superstitious believes for underdevelopment they ignore other political factors.
Africa has always had religion and it was never much of a problem until colonialism. Petecostalsm is a branch of american protestantism with the growth of its influence american materialism and consumerism spreads as well. This materialistic culture along with poverty is why many Nigerians go to these churches to get something not necessarily for salvation but for riches.I dont think many of these humanist understand religion of any kind for them to come to such a simple conclusion

What is wrong with people?

I am greatly scandalized by such inpudence and effrontry of these idiots who call themselves humanits. I am a Professor of Religious studies and have never seen anything wrong with Oyedepo or any other person, working so hard to make money and still come under attack. Do you know that some of these clerics take less than 4 hours sleep, which is detrimental to good health, and after killing themselves to practice the prosperity they preach, these morons still accuse them of amassing wealth; whose wealth? Go and take the money from them now.

religion mentality

He who operates beyond the boundaries of religion shall be free. religion was started by man and no wonder religious addicts find it difficult to understand those who operate beyond their limited thinking capacity. The generals are displaying that they serve God is not a poor and not stingy to release extra ordinary blessings. It is this truth that shall stand the test of time.

Kitchen Cabinets

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Oyedepo, Oyakhilome, Ashimolowo, Others Come Under Attack At Humanist Forum in Abuja; Sheila Solarin Urges Nigerians To Fight for A Better Society
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A lie is a lie even if everyone believes it....

With or without religion, you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion. – Steven Weinberg

PLEASE LEAVE OYEDEPO ALONE OOOOOO

those it mean God can not bless ppl naturally without fawl play? Please you should stop condemming oyedepo so that God will not put a course on you guys.

Job is indeed very rich, abraham now became a whole nation so how then do you ppl keep pock nosing, It is beta u guys pray hard so that God will make u guys rich the way he has bless his prohect.

Remember poverty is a course.

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May God forgive these humanists their sins

May God forgive these humanists their sins for they know not what is at stake

STOP ACCUSING BISHOP DAVID O. OYEDEPO PLZ

you guys have gotten that even in the bible most man of God like Job and Abraham was indeed very rich, Remember that God gave Abraham a wealth and he made him to have a whole city in Isreal. So we should stop condeming this men of God.

Remember that God say we should honour the word of His prophect so you guys should stop accusing this men of God and let's focus about our own life on how to get rich.

God have never left this nation without a prophect so understand that and stop criticizing Oyedepo as is richnest came from God almighty.

If the blessing is not from God he cant aquire such riches because the man is so endowned.

MORE RELIGION LESS FAITH

Nigerians are very religious but faithless, and if this happen all are zero. Churches are growing people are becoming poorer.
A proverb in my language " Fools should not be wise so that the wiser, exploiters, will be milking them. There are christ and Muhammad but they did not milked their followers as we are witnessing now. For me iam not here to argue or condem but Nigerian open your eyes,your ear, yourmouth and your sense. Most Nigerian are fools being ruled by idiots politically and religiously.

Blindfolded

I am a christian and should not be mistaken for an atheist. Most pastors of today are very business minded.They often avoid the truth because it is ugly and unpleasant.They are understand that life is so harsh and distressing to most Nigerians, that people who can manufacture romance or conjure up fantasy are like oases in the desert which everyone flocks to.They understand that there is great power in tapping into the fantasies of the masses. They are strongly using the power of tapping into the fantasies of the masses to enrich themselves. Paupers in the church of Christ abound yet our General overseers are stupendously rich. No food for the flocks but the shepherds are living in palatial edifices. Jesus said 'If you love me feed my flocks. They build schools which poor members cannot afford to send their children to. God is watching.

I pity this country.

Remove the cloak of fear from your heads and maybe you'll think clearly.

Why do people find it easy to probe politicians and difficult for their religious leaders. People like oyedepo, adeboye and co say things that affect millions of people. It is only natural to check them more critically. The best gift you can give yourself is freedom of thought. When an idea strikes you, dont go running to your pastor or imam...think critically. That's not a sin, is it?

If africans invented guns and had better medicine and technology, dont you think white men would be worshipping ogun or amadioha by now? It's so shameful to find africans defending a white man's religion like he is sure it is true.

Crazy

You have no right to ask people to reject religion woman.Dont enforce your ideologies on people.So far i believe, Nigeria is a prayerful country and our prayers,however small has helped this country in ways we are yet to see.

If you are a man of God,be a man of God,if ure a scientist...focus on that and if you`re an atheist stick to it.

People are entitled to their beliefs....just dont go about forcing it on people....its really a shame..you atheists..when u are about to die..u call for these same pastors to come and pray for you.

GOD IS MORE THAN REAL!!! Dont Be Decieve Please!

Just so funny 4 one 2 think there is no God. Do u think u sleep every night & wake up every morning by yourself or by science? ask urself, wat made d cloud 2 hang up above in d sky without falling-science or ur art of reasoning? There is a God that made earthquake not 2 happen in dat ur conference venue! (it may sound foolish-i understand)
Come on, is only a fool will say there is no God. i pray 4 God's mercy 4 every one of you in that conference. some of you will one day become Evangelists and Pastors. God bless you all and be gracious 2 remove d gross scale in ur eyes! bye

love your fellow man as yourself

I believe the humanist movement is entrenched in chistianity and Christ's message of love of man for his fellow man. And they are true to the preaching of Christ in that we should eschew material worldly things. Why can't these super pastors do emulate Christ

Pastors must emulate Jesus!

I am not an Atheist but a Bible believing Christian.There is no place for Atheism but I believe some of these Pastors are certainly not doing what Jesus is happy about.They need repentance from greed and the love of money. I still reason as a Christian becos the Bible encourages us to question and be sure if indeed we are dealing with God or not and yet believe in God 100 percent

Re: blindfolded

I am not an Atheist but a Bible believing Christian.There is no place for Atheism but I believe some of these Pastors are certainly not doing what Jesus is happy about.They need repentance from greed and the love of money. I stll reason as a Christian and yet believe in God 100 percent

Blindfolded

All of them in that meeting are blind and babbling. It is a fool that will say there is no God.
Those Pastors are only rational and lawfully putting there brain and mind to work. What is the use of a mind that is idle and cannot achieve greatness? Did they steal there money? That one is a minister of God does not mean that one should not work or use his brain as an ordinary man. What they need is to put down the garment of their pride and give their life to Christ and the blindfold of the devil that is making them not to see reality will be removed.

Religious Leaders

The Christian Leaders are part of the solution and not part of the problem because they are creating Jobs, building institutions (Winners Chapel has built the Second University setting up company). The institutions that are been built are owned by the Church not by individuals. You can not say David Oyedepo is rich if the cars, buses and planes are owned by the church.
They are wealth creators not accumulators like some who starch the ill gotten wealth in foreign banks.
They are heroes and they will be seen as such not from the parochial point of view of some so called Humanist.

Sahara reporters... u will

Sahara reporters... u will soon crash b4 6 months... lets bet

Humanist Forum in Abuja

I respect the views expressed by all. But, one clear thing is that we should be objective as much as we can. Based on my understanding of the speakers at the forum, the men of god were not condemned. But, they urge to make more impact in the society. Those questioning the authenticity of Quran and Bible have no work. whatever one believes in, lets leave our verdict till when each and everyone of us will face God on the day of reckoning.

These anti - Christs should just keep quiet.

You are all talking trash, thank God for those serving God that is why there is remnant that all of you are talking about. If its business then you start business and make such money then you will know the difference between God's blessing and business. There are million of churches wallowing in poverty, may be God called them or not i don't know.
Always know that there is no brain that can reason out God's things. Your brains are too small to think for God.
"For a natural man understandeth not the things of the spirit, they are foolishness to him, neither can he understand, for they are spiritually discerned".

Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned.

Even though Luke 6:37 says "Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven."

Mark 10:42-45 says

"42 Jesus called them together and said, You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them.

43 Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant,

44 and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all."

@Dr Arogundade, I find your comment repugnant. Who is he to tell people not to go to church?

@86-year-old Sheila Solarin, ... 'challenged Nigerians to reject religion,'

Come to reason MAMA, at the twilight years of your life.

think b4 u say and remove sentiments from statements

Jus because oyedepo or ashimolowo is ur pastor does not mean U̶̲̥̅̊ will hear a truth and start lashing out at †ђǝ sayer.if a man of God gets a private jet and Ʊ say it is for spreading †ђǝ word,Wα̲̅†̥ happens when he buys two more.even jesus was criticised.is tb joshua not one of †ђǝ wealthy pastors we have around? Why is he not critisized?Ŋ☹ constructive criticism is out of hatred or jelousy. Nigerians jus want to defend thiers preachers instead of looking at Wα̲̅†̥ can be seen from †ђǝ speakers point.  am a catholic and one of †ђǝ reasons  like †ђǝ church is that they accept criticism and work towards correcting mistakes and even appologises for wrongs done,Ŋ☹w that's human.  expect our preachers to condem every bad political act just like †ђǝ catholic bishops conference does everytime it meets..

things have reall changed for the worst.

things have really changed for the worst with our churches and new generation church leaders being more business like than they should be competion among them has become the order of the day.way back in the past schools owned and maneged by catholic and anglican churches,things were a lot better then with school fees for little or nothing,some of these our pastors now benefited from there.my question now is this,why can't they bring down their own school fees so that it affordable by everybody?are u not supose to give back to the society that has given so much to you and most of all to God?did the holy bible not say that,whatever u give to the least of my brothers that you give unto me?our pastors should learn from the catholic and the anglican churches so that we can fight poverty in action and not by mere words of our dirty mouths since our political leaders have completlly failed us all.GOD BLESS NIGERIA

things have really changed

things have really changed for the worst with our churches and new generation church leaders being more business like than they should be competion among them has become the order of the day.way back in the past schools owned and maneged by catholic and anglican churches,things were a lot better then with school fees for little or nothing,some of these our pastors now benefited from there.my question now is this,why can't they bring down their own school fees so that it affordable by everybody?are u not supose to give back to the society that has given so much to you and most of all to God?did the holy bible not say that,whatever u give to the least of my brothers that you give unto me?our pastors should learn from the catholic and the anglican churches so that we can fight poverty in action and not by mere words of our dirty mouths since our political leaders have completlly failed us all.GOD BLESS NIGERIA

things have really changed for the worst.

things have really changed for the worst with our churches and new generation church leaders being more business like than they should be competion among them has become the order of the day.way back in the past schools owned and maneged by catholic and anglican churches,things were a lot better then with school fees for little or nothing,some of these our pastors now benefited from there.my question now is this,why can't they bring down their own school fees so that it affordable by everybody?are u not supose to give back to the society that has given so much to you and most of all to God?did the holy bible not say that,whatever u give to the least of my brothers that you give unto me?our pastors should learn from the catholic and the anglican churches so that we can fight poverty in action and not by mere words of our dirty mouths since our political leaders have completlly failed us all.GOD BLESS NIGERIA

churches usually do not

churches usually do not publish their charitable deeds as doing so is tantamount to blowing their trumpet. i am aware that, many churches made donations to victims of the most recent religious crisis

LIES

Humanisim is one of satan's tool of deceit. He has successfully blinded these wise fools