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Preaching regulation bill faces obstacle in Kaduna Assembly

The bill to substitute the Religious Preaching Law 1984 currently before the Kaduna State House of Assembly is facing stiff opposition as both Christians and…

The bill to substitute the Religious Preaching Law 1984 currently before the Kaduna State House of Assembly is facing stiff opposition as both Christians and Muslims say it would inhibit free religious practice.
The Executive Bill according to the House Majority Leader Inuwa Dogo, is aimed at regulating religious preaching and stipulating punishment for violators.
It is however generating serious concern as a result of varying interpretations, Daily Trust gathered. The social media has also been awash with comments on the bill. To some Christians, it will not allow them carry their bibles around openly while some say it will prevent them from playing religious music even in their cars, among many other interpretations. As Christians strive to stop the bill from progressing, so also are Muslims who see it as anti-religious.
But the Speaker of the House, Aminu Abdullahi Shagali, said a public hearing would soon be conducted where people would be invited to express their views and opinions on it.
“We will not pass any bill that is anti-people or capable of creating confusion. In the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, there are sections that have to do with religious practice, so we are not going to tamper with that, our interest is to create an atmosphere where people will not violate other people’s right to religion,” he said while urging residents of the state to come with their inputs on the bill.
The state secretary of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Reverend Sunday Ibrahim, also urged Christians to remain calm, saying the bill was aimed at curtailing extremism.
“Our stand in CAN is that we don’t have the right of licensing people because Jesus has given us the license to go into the world to preach the gospel. So, winning souls is very important to us and as such, we must not preach hate messages as whoever does that is on his or her own. The bill also says that every religious activity must end by latest 8pm and also frowns at use of loud speakers beyond 8pm.,” he said.

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