It would be recalled that on 9th July, 2014, the National Executive Committee (NEC) of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) approved the establishment of a Christian Trust Fund tagged CAN Trust Fund to mobilize crucial funding for Christianity in Nigeria. This was in realization that the Islamic insurgency would require a well articulated program of non-violent structures to resist. Building these structures as well as mitigating the effect of the attacks would require enormous amount of money.
The laudable program was initiated with the full support and backing of the former President of CAN, his Eminence, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor. During the same meeting, which was held in Makurdi, Benue State, the initiator of the Trust Fund, Pastor Bosun Emmanuel, was also appointed by NEC as the National Coordinator of the scheme.
Unfortunately, after the expiration of the tenure of Pastor Oritsejafor, his successor deliberately frustrated the CAN Trust Fund due to personal selfish interest. For three years, the Trust Fund remained moribund leading to a loss of N180 billion in estimated revenue.
On 23rd July, 2020, the National Christian Elders Forum (NCEF) considered the state of the country and the relentless attacks on Christians by Islamic insurgents and concluded that without adequate funding to mitigate the damage as well as implement intervention to protect Christians and Christianity, the Nigerian Church shall steadily be destroyed. Therefore, the NCEF passed a resolution mandating Christian Social Movement of Nigeria (CSMN), the socio-political arm of the Church, to retrieve the Trust Fund from CAN and relaunch it as LAY FAITHFUL TRUST FUND.
NCEF communicated its intention in writing to the President of CAN and the heads of the five Blocs of the Nigerian Church. In the absence of any objection, the Lay Faithful Trust Fund was inaugurated by NCEF on 17th September, 2020 to mobilize donations and manage same to achieve the objectives of the Trust Fund.
The Trust Fund is designed to received monthly donation of N500 from each willing and able Christian. Individuals are at liberty to donate more.
The funds shall be managed by a Board of Trustees made up of reputable and competent Christian technocrats and regular reports shall be provided to the donors. Christian Social Movement of Nigeria has established for itself a reputation for accountability and transparency. The Statement of Accounts of CSMN can be viewed here.
What is the Money Going to be Used for?
1. Christians must take care of the Christian IDPs and other Christian victims of this senseless religious insurgency.
2. There is the need to build non-violent structures to defend Christians in Nigeria. A well coordinated plan of response has to be implemented. This would require enormous amount of funding. Right now, there is no coordinated Christian response, 11 years after the Islamic religious insurgency started. Even the Christian Strategy Document approved in 2015 by NEC was deliberately unimplemented by the current Christian leadership in CAN.
3. Christians should have a robust purse to support and sponsor Christians into politics and Governance. Going forward, Christians should become more effective in politics and governance to prevent the instrument of the state from being used to destroy them. Therefore, there has to be well funded programs to enable Christians participate effectively in politics leading to governance.
4. There is a deliberate attempt to destroy democracy in Nigeria and replace it with Sharia. If the sponsors of Sharia should succeed, Christianity would be the first casualty. Therefore, Christian advocacy to ensure that democracy triumphs in Nigeria has to be well funded.
5. Hundreds of Christian communities that were destroyed must be rebuilt and Christians must support their brethren who survive this holocaust to rebuild their lives.
6. Some of the children in IDP camps have been out of school for over four years. Funding is needed to provide schools and accelerate their education.
7. The widows of the martyrs have become the responsibility of the Church according to the Scriptures. Christians must fulfill this obligation
8. The maimed, the disabled, as well as all those requiring quality medical treatment require concerted help and treatment.
9. The legal rights of the victims of this genocide have to be defended in court.
10. There must be an exhaustive data compilation of the impact of this insurgency against Christians in Nigeria.