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World Peace Blessing

Peace Blessing Extended to 1,455 Couples in Benue State, Nigeria

Benue State, Nigeria—As part of activities to commemorate the 58th anniversary of Nigeria's independence, UPF-Nigeria and the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification organized Marriage and Family Peace Blessing Festivals in Benue State that were attended by 1,455 couples in four different communities. The peace blessing festivals were held in Ugbema, Mbagen and Agwabi in Buruku Local Governance Area as well as in Katsina Ala of Katsina Local Governance Area and Zaki Biam in Ukum Local Governance Area.

The participants were mobilized through a partnership between UPF-Nigeria and local chapters of the Christian Association of Nigeria. Volunteers moved from house to house and church to church to distribute participation forms to couples who were eligible to participate after a brief explanation.

At Ugbema Mbagen, Bishop Benjamin Mhen Hom of the Christ Empire Church of God led other volunteers to mobilize couples in the community for the peace festival. As a participant in a previous festival, he was inspired and insisted on hosting the festival in his community. The event was held on October 2, 2018, at the main hall of the NKST Church [Universal Reformed Christian Church of Nigeria] in Ugbema with couples from different churches and affiliations in attendance. A total of 462 couples attended the festival and participated in the five basic components of the festival after the keynote lecture on the peace blessing festival. At the closing session, participants supported a proclamation of national dependence on God by the citizens of Nigeria.

From Ugbema community, the peace blessing festival team moved to the Agwabi community in the Buruku Local Governance Area. The peace blessing festival in Agwabi on October 3 was held at the NKST church in Agwab, with 362 couples as participants. Christian leaders from different churches in the area mobilized their members to attend the festival because they have embraced the initiative as a grassroots strategy for peace building.

On October 4, the peace blessing festival was held in Zaki Biam, Ukum Local Governance Area of Benue State, with 456 couples in attendance. The participating couples renewed their commitment to each other to become eternal husband and wife and thanked the UPF founders for the blessing of their marriage. The Zaki Biam festival was held at the NKST Church but attended by couples from different churches and faith groups.

On October 5, the team carried the message of peace and blessing to two communities. The first community was in Agwabi, where 116 couples attended the blessing festival to make a total of 478 couples in Agwabi as we needed 430 couples to declare the community as a peace tribe. From Agwabi, we returned to Katsina Ala for another blessing festival that had 59 couples in attendance.

In all the areas visited, the peace festival was warmly welcomed, and previous participants were always coming forward to testify of the positive impact of the festival on their family life and community. It was a special commemoration of the 58th anniversary of Nigeria’s independence and a foundation to proclaim Nigeria as a nation that is “Dependent on God” by 2020. All the participating couples supported the motion for national proclamation of dependence on God by Nigerians in the year 2020.

By the positive response of couples and leaders in the communities, the Family Peace Blessing Festival will be spreading to other communities in the Benue State and other states in Nigeria. During this period, a total of 1,455 couples participated in the blessing festivals held in Ugbema, Agwabi, Zaki Biam and Katsina Ala of Benue State.

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