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Breaking: World largest church founder, David Yonggi Cho, dies at 85

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The founder of South Korea’s biggest church, David Yonggi Cho, has died on Tuesday.

He was 85 years old.

Cho, an emeritus pastor at Seoul’s Yoido Full Gospel Church, died at a Seoul hospital where he had been treated since he collapsed due to a cerebral hemorrhage in July 2020, the church said.

“He conveyed the gospel of hope to the Korean people who fell into despair after the Korean War,” the church said in a statement.

“He was instrumental in growing the Korean church, particularly developing Yoido Full Gospel Church as the world’s largest church.”

Better known as David Yonggi Cho or Paul Yonggi Cho abroad, the late pastor started his church in Seoul with five worshippers in 1958, when South Korea was still struggling to rebuild itself from the ashes of the 1950-53 Korean War. Under his leadership, the church achieved explosive growth and become a symbol of the rapid growth of Christianity in what was then a deeply Confucian country.Advertisement

In 1993, the church had more than 700,000 members, making it the world’s biggest church congregation according to Guinness World Records, the church said. Church officials said its membership has since declined to about 600,000 and that they cannot confirm whether their church remains the world’s largest.

It’s still the largest Protestant church in South Korea. Church officials said it has 400 pastors and evangelists in South Korea and 500 missionaries abroad.

Despite his achievement, Cho and his family have been embroiled in scandals in recent years.

In 2017, he was convicted of breach of trust and causing financial losses to the church but avoided jail as he received a suspended prison term. In 2013, a female politician filed a paternity suit against one of his sons. His family has also faced long-running criticism that they dominated key posts at the church and other church-related organizations.Advertisement

In 2008, Cho stepped down as the church’s top pastor and a non-family member succeeded him in what the church called “an unprecedented, democratic” power transition. In South Korea, many church founders hand over their leadership positions to their children.

Lee Hunjoo, secretary-general of the Christian Alliance For Church Reform, a Seoul-based NGO, said the fast rise of Cho’s church led other churches in South Korea to push excessively to expand their own congregations.

“It’s true that the Rev. Cho did meaningful work for Korean churches,” Lee said. “But in some sense, megachurches in South Korea began with Cho’s Yoido Full Gospel Church.”

According to a 2015 government census, Protestantism was the biggest religion in South Korea, followed by Buddhism and Catholicism. There were about 9.7 million Protestants at the time, accounting for nearly 20% of the country’s then 49 million people.

Cho is survived by three sons. His funeral is set for Saturday, and the church will receive mourners from Wednesday, according to the church.


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NSCDC dismisses viral video on ‘bandit personnel’

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The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) has dismissed a viral video purporting that a member of the corps confessed to being a bandit.

The suspected bandit, Mr Abdullah Saidu, in the viral video called himself personnel of the Corps.

This is contained in a statement issued by the NSCDC Spokesperson, Mr Olusola Odumosu, in Abuja.

Newsmen report that Saidu was arrested in connection to a group of armed bandits terrorising some parts of Koton Karfe Local Government Area of Kogi.

The spokesperson said that the NSCDC has set up a team to investigate the available records to confirm the authenticity of Saidu’s claims that he was the corps personnel.

“The general public shall be adequately briefed on subsequent findings.“Based on the aforementioned, the purported video where the alleged suspect openly confessed to the crime did not in any way give credence to or affirm his membership to the Corps.

“Experience has shown that criminals are fond of impersonating security operatives in order to divert attention, subvert investigation or get away with the crime,” he said.

Odumosu further noted that the NSCDC was saddled with the responsibility of protecting lives and property amongst others.

“The Corps will not in any way condone any saboteur of national security or sponsorship of criminals.”He reiterated the Corps’ zeal to discharge its statutory mandates without compromise but with humility and integrity.

He said the NSCDC will continue to synergise with sister agencies to combat crimes in the country.

Source: (NAN)


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Federal government to incorporate NNPC board in six months

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President Muhammadu Buhari
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President Muhammadu Buhari said on Sunday he had appointed a board for the NNPC and directed that it should be incorporated within six months, a move that could allow it to sell shares in the future.

The President signed the petroleum bill into law last month which has been in the works for nearly two decades, aiming to overhaul the sector and turn the state-owned oil company into a private firm.

The new oil law requires NNPC to be incorporated within six months, Buhari said in a statement, appointing Ifeanyi Ararume as NNPC chairman and its current Chief Executive Mele Kyari to lead the firm.

Kyari has said NNPC could consider an initial public offering (IPO) within three years. The incorporation could pave the way for NNPC to sell shares.

Buhari said last month that NNPC made its first profit in 44 years in 2020.

Source:(Global World News)


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Niger state becoming safe haven for fleeing Zamfara bandits

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Shiroro Local Government in Niger State has cried foul over the influx of bandits and terrorists fleeing Zamfara state.

The bandits/terrorists are identified by their masks and motorcycles, and their presence is causing fear and apprehension among the locals, spokesman of the local government, Salis M. Sabo disclosed in a statement.

Sabo said the bandits are believed to have flown from “Zamfara or other adjoining troubled states which the Niger State borders through Shiroro.

“The marauders have started showing their ugly faces in Galadiman Kogo, Zama, Magami, Maganda m, Paleli, Iburo, Chukuba, Dnasapa all in Shiroro Local Government.

“The military operation going on in Zamfara needs to be well coordinated and replicated in other States on Zamfara borders so as to save the vulnerable neighboours from bearing the brunt arising from the operation.

“The Coalition of Shiroro Associations (COSA) calls on the authorities concerned to swiftly intervene and listen to the cries of the people of Shiroro” Salis M Sabo said.


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