Adapted from Anglican Communion News Service

The Archbishop of Jos in the Anglican Church of Nigeria said Christians are finding refuge in God “in the face of turbulence, persecution, and wickedness” in the north of the country.

The Most Rev. Benjamin Kwashi made his remarks at the opening service at the annual retreat of Anglican bishops in the province, meeting at the IBRU International Ecumenical Centre in Agbarha-Otor.

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He said that the “forces of evil are still at work, but Jesus has already defeated the powers of hell, of darkness, of wickedness, and of evil.”

Archbishop Kwashi asked bishops to “intensify their prayers” for churches in the northern part of Nigeria. Persecution is biting very hard, he said, adding that “the devil has failed because God cannot be defeated.”

The archbishop called for action to tackle biblical illiteracy and suggested that Christians should adopt the Jewish tradition of training children properly in Scriptures. Hebrew children, he said, were trained for about 30 years in preparation for ministry. He cited the example of Jesus Christ, “who was guided for about 30 years and used the remaining three years of his life for ministry in order to interpret the law and the prophets.”

• Related: Timothy George, dean of Beeson Divinity School, interviews Archbishop Kwashi on “Africa and the Reformation.”

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