A pastor has blamed churches for suicide rates in Nigeria.
The popular pastor, Abel Damina, who runs a Pentecostal church called Power City International, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, said today’s messages in churches are instilling greed and depression among Christians in Nigeria.
There have been reported cases of suicide, especially among young Nigerians, in recent times.
Notable among the suicide cases is that of a 400-level student of the Department of English and Literary Studies, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Chukwuemeka Akachi, who reportedly drank a deadly insecticide, sniper.
There is another case of a pastor in a popular Pentecostal church who recently committed suicide.
“We are shouting that the kind of messages preached in church would produce greed, would produce depression, and cause people to kill themselves,” Mr Damina said in a video which is being circulated on Facebook.
The video is not dated. But, Mr Damina appeared to be preaching in a Sunday service in his church.
“When all a church preaches is materialism. When the true world of a Christian is reflected by car, house, money! If those things don’t come, why won’t he be depressed? Why won’t he kill himself?” Mr Damina said in the video.
Mr Damina said Christianity was now being measured by material things. “If all our hope is in this world, we are of all men miserable. So, those messages are the reasons Christians are committing suicide,” Mr Damina said.
The pastor said he preaches a different kind of message to his congregation.
“In this church, we don’t create in you an appetite for worldly things. We don’t create in you an appetite for material things; the only appetite we generate in you is for Christ.
“You know, in this church, we don’t care what car you drive. We don’t care what suit you wear. We don’t care (about) your wristwatch, and we don’t care where you work. There is only one equaliser in this church – all of us are one, we are serving Christ, nobody is superior, nobody is inferior,” Mr Damina said.
“We feed you Christ in this church, why would you commit suicide? Which side is the depression coming from?
“If what I was teaching you is, ‘you’ll make it, you’ll make it, we must take over…. You see, those messages, first of all, make you feel like God is not trying. They make you feel as if God has forgotten you. Even if God is blessing you, you are not aware of it because where your eye is…. You are so selfish, all you want is to get it by all means.”
Continuing, the pastor said, “The chips are getting down, there’s pressure in the society. Too much pressure!
“People are going through so much. Things are not working for many believers, and then the pastor is putting them under pressure – you must have a breakthrough. If you are not having a breakthrough, it means you are not serving God. You cannot serve God and be poor, you cannot serve God and lack. You cannot serve God and be broke. If you are broke, you are not serving God. If you are poor, you are not serving God.
“Those messages create in you a greed and appetite, and when it is not working, the resultant effect is that you want to kill yourself. You begin to feel, what’s like about, why am I even here? This life is useless – car, I don’t have. Wife, I don’t have. Children, I don’t have. Why am I alive, it is better to die!
“And they have made it so easy that the society has a lot of things for committing suicide, you can hang your neck, you can drink sniper, you can drink all kinds of things, and it would kill you without too much effort.
“When a message is always driving you to material things, you’ll soon feel miserable. And what is the resultant effect of being miserable? Suicide!
“If you want to stop the rate of suicide, we must re-examine what churches are preaching,” he said.