By Livinus Nnebedum
Jesus Christ was the founder of Christianity. He has been acknowledged as the greatest man who ever lived. Jesus Christ was born in Bethlehem. The world’s bestselling and most widely distributed book is the Bible with an estimated 3.88 billion copies sold between 1815 and 1999. Christianity is the world’s predominant religion with some 1.94 billion adherents in 1998. The largest Christian denomination in the world is Roman Catholic Church which in 1998 had 1.03 billion members. One of the biggest Cathedrals in the world is St. John The Divine Cathedral Church of the Diocese of New York, U.S.A. There are 39 books in the Old Testament and 27 in the New Testament making a total of 66 Books in the Bible. From the Holy Bible John chapter 3 verse 16; it tells us of one who loved us with everlasting love and that is Jesus Christ.
Psalm 119 is the longest chapter in the Bible with 176 verses.
The Headquarters of the World Assembly of Christians is Jerusalem and Christians go on pilgrimage to Jerusalem.
Christians worship in the church.
Methuselah died at the age of 969 and he was the oldest man on earth.
Noah was a farmer and the 1st man to plant a vineyard.
The 1st Pope was Pope Peter.
Pope John Paul II was the 264th pope. He was born in Wadowice, Poland on 18th May, 1920 and ascended papal throne on October 16, 1978 at the age of 58. He was the 1st non-Italian to be elected pope in 456 years and the youngest pope in this century (as at 2005). Pope John-Paul II was the 1st Pope to visit the mosque. He visited Umayyad Mosque in Syria in May, 2001. On 13th Feb, 1982, he visited Nigeria for the 1st time and on 21st March 1998, he visited Nigeria the 2nd time. Pope John – Paul II died on Saturday night at 8.37 pm Nigeria time on 2nd April, 2005 and was buried on 8th April 2005.
Pope Benedict XVI (Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger) a German, assumed position on 19th April 2005 as a Pope. He was the 2nd pope to vsit the mosque enclosure on Nov. 30, 2006.
The major religion in Nigeria are Christianity, Islam and traditional religion.
In 1842 the 1st batch of Christian missionaries landed at Badagary on their way to Abeokuta.
The Anglicans began work on the Niger first at Abo and more successful at Onitsha in 1857, Brass in 1861 and Bonny in 1864.
The pioneer missionaries that transferred from Nteje in Anambra State, Nigeria to Adazi-Nnukwu also in Anambra State, Nigeria in 1912 were led by a French clergyman Rev. Fr. Albert Bubbendorf. Rev. Fr. Bubbendorf established the 1st Catholic Church as a Parish in Adazi-Nnukwu in 1912.
Prophet Mohammed was the founder of Islam. He was an Arab of the Hashem clan in the Quraish tribe. He was born in Makkah in about 570 CE.
The father of Prophet Muhammed was Abdullah who died before Muhammed was born and his mother Amina died when Muhammed was only 6 years old.
Prophet Muhammed became well known for his outstanding honesty, kindness, wisdom and fair dealings and was noticed by the wealthy widow Khadijah, who employed him to look after her merchant business for her.
Khadijah was about 40 years old and Muhammed was 25. They got married and lived very happily together for about 25 years until Khadijah died. They had 6 children; 4 girls and 2 boys, but unfortunately the 2 boys died while very young.
Eventually, Muhammed was called upon by “Allah” to be a prophet.
Islam has over 1.16 billion followers as at 1998.
By the time Muhammed died on 8 June, 632CE, a holy book called Quran consisting of the collections of all the revelation by “Allah” had been put together.
Muslims have 5 Pillars while Christians have the 10 commandments.
Islam – the religion of submission to God (Allah)
Muslims – those who submitted to what the Quran says, believe in Quran and agreed to their hearts what it says.
Mosque is the Muslims place of worship. Quran is the holy book of the Muslims.
“Ayats” are the verse in the Quran. Ayat represents one verse of the Quran.
Quran has 114 chapters (Surahs) and 6,616 verses (Ayats) with a total of 79,000 words.
Holy Koran (Quran) Part XIV sura XVI has this to say about honey bees and honey;
(a) “And the Lord inspireth the bees; choose thou habitations in the hills and in the trees and in that which they thatch” (b) “Then eat of all fruits and follow the ways by thy Lord made smooth for thee” (c) “There cometh from their bellies (the bees) a drink of various colours, wherein is healings for mankind”. In summary, a section of the Holy Koran said something to the effect that if you eat more honey, thy days on earth are likely to be lengthened, that is, honey and longevity. The Kaba temple in Mecca (Makkah) is the centre of Islam.
The Headquarters of the World Assembly of Muslims is in Mecca (Makkah), in Saudi Arabia.
They go on pilgrimage to Mecca (Makkah) in Saudi Arabia.
In about 1422 – 1612, St Peter of Basilica was built.
In 1842 Christian religion started in Nigeria.
Rev. Samuel Ajayi Crowther became the 1st African Bishop who translated the English Bible to Yoruba Language. He died on Dec 31, 1891.
Mary Slessor was the female missionary who stopped the killing of twins in Calabar.
Jesus Christ was 30 years in the year 29CE.
The calendar used in most parts of the world is based on the year Jesus Christ was born. That date before that year is called B.C. (ie Before Christ). Anno Domini (AD) – In the year of our Lord for dates after that year Jesus Christ was born.
Days of worship for the Christians are Sundays and other Christians festivals like Christmas, Easter, Good Friday, Assumption day etc.
Days of worship for the Muslims are Fridays and Muslims festivals. Muslim festivals include Eid-el-Fitri, Eid-el-Kabir and Eid-el-Maluad.
Chief Christian officers include priests, pastors, bishops, pope etc.
Chief Muslim officers include Imans (Respected Muslim leaders who guide the Muslim community)
The religious objects for the Muslim are holy Koran, Tasbih etc.
The religious objects for the Christians include Holy Bible, crucifix, candles, chaplet etc.
Religious objects for traditional religion worshippers include gods, goddesses, chalk, pots, bells etc.
Traditional religion was founded by our ancient fore-fathers. They worship God, gods and goddesses in shrines.
Chief Officers of the traditional religions include shrine priest, fortune tellers, diviners etc.
In 586 B.C. Nebuchadnezzar the chaldean king destroyed Jerusalem and carried the people in captivity to Babylonia. Psalm 137 in the Bible gives a vivid picture of the anguish they suffered away from their own land.
The Hebrews had great religious influence extending to many lands and peoples. They influenced Judaism, Christianity and Mohammedanism etc. They are the ancestors of the Modern Jews, a Semitic – speaking people coming originally from the Arabian Desert.
The Hebrews had wonderful set of writings made by different persons at different times. For long, these writings were collected into one book called the Old Testament in the Christian Holy book called the Holy Bible.
This writer visited the country home of Cardinal Francis Arinze at Eziowelle in Anambra State on Wednesday 15th May 2019 and `saw a simple house and in fact a Bungalow