What is Lay Faithful Trust Foundation?
The LAY FAITHFUL TRUST FOUNDATION is Christian fund raising platform initiated by National Christian Elders Forum (NCEF) to be operated by Christian Social Movement of Nigeria (CSMN), the registered arm of Nigerian Church responsible for Christian socio-political issues. After considering the trend of events in Nigeria and the unrelenting ruthless assault by Islamic Jihadists against Christians, NCEF came to the conclusion that it is imperative that funding should be mobilized to defend and protect Christians as well as drive various Christian advocacies and interventions to stem the tide of the genocide going on in the Middle Belt.
During its meeting of Thursday, 23rd July, 2020, after considering a Memorandum prepared by its Secretary on the establishment of a Trust Fund, NCEF passed a resolution calling on CSMN as the socio-political arm of the Church to revive the Christian Trust Fund in the collective interest of all Nigerian Christians.
The Trust Fund will operate by requesting donations of minimum N500 from each Nigerian Christian. It is believed that this amount would not be a burden to any single individual to donate in a month neither would it affect financial commitment of Christians to their Denominations or local assemblies.
The projection is that if many Christians contribute, the sum total will be substantial to undertake credible and effective Christian intervention to defend Christians and promote Christianity in Nigeria.
A Board of Trustees, made up of competent and reputable Christian technocrats would manage the Fund. These are Christian individuals who have established personal reputation for themselves and would not stain it by involving themselves in any shady or corrupt endeavor.
Besides, the Trust Fund would maintain the policy of accountability and transparency of Christian Social Movement of Nigeria which is the only Christian body in Nigeria that dutifully publishes every month the names of all its donors as well as the statement of expenditure.
The CAN Trust Fund was the initiative of Bosun Emmanuel which he took to CAN in 2014. It was well received and promoted by the former President of CAN, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, who saw its potential to help Christianity in Nigeria respond to impending danger which is now fully manifest.
As it would turn out the succeeding Administration in CAN did not handle the project well and it was left comatose from 2018 – 2020. After waiting for two years and there was no indication that CAN was prepared to resolve the crisis it created, NCEF proceeded to launch a fresh Trust Fund in the collective interest of Nigerian Christians.
NCEF took this decision based on the realization that if there is no central purse to fund Christian advocacy and intervention, Christianity in Nigeria, and Christians in particular, shall suffer immense damages that would make the current distress look elementary. Consequently, on 25th July, 2020, NCEF wrote to the President of CAN as well as to the Heads of the five Blocs of CAN informing them of its intention to retrieve the Trust Fund and operate it under the socio-political arm of the Church since it was clear that CAN was not interested in operating it for the collective interest of Nigerian Christians.
NCEF made many attempts to help CAN resolve critical leadership issues in the Church but all the attempts were rebuffed. After waiting for two years and the intensity of the genocide was escalating, NCEF concluded on proactive step to save the lives of Christians and preserve Christianity for future generations in Nigeria.
It is hoped that Christian leaders would respond to Godly counsel and resolve the manifold crisis in the Church with truth and the fear of God.
As much as it depends on both NCEF and CSMN, the project shall be managed in the fear of God with honesty and integrity.
As Christians, we can only pray that after witnessing the horrors of Christians hacked to death in the North, Middle Belt, as well as in other parts of the country, no one would seek to undertake any step to frustrate this renewed project. That would be tantamount to declaration of open hostility against Jesus Christ.
- Christians must take care of the Christian IDPs and other Christian victims of this senseless religious insurgency.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Hundreds of Christian communities that were destroyed must be rebuilt and Christians must support their brethren who survive this holocaust to rebuild their lives.
- 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.
- The widows of the martyrs have become the responsibility of the Church according to the Scriptures. Christians must fulfill this obligation
- The maimed, the disabled, as well as all those requiring quality medical treatment require concerted help and treatment.
- The legal rights of the victims of this genocide have to be defended in court.
- There must be an exhaustive data compilation of the impact of this insurgency against Christians in Nigeria.
Before now, CSMN has established a Financial Policy for all the donations that it receives. The donations into the LAY FAITHFUL TRUST FOUNDATION shall be applied as follows:
- Humanitarian (Persecuted Christians) 25%
- Politics and Governance 20%
- Legal intervention 15%
- Media and Publicity 10%
- Youth & Empowerment 10%
- Data & Records 5%
- Admin. & Secretariat 10%
- Savings 5%
CSMN operates a single account into which all donations go. Whatever is donated to CSMN will be applied along this Financial Policy.
We have to come a point in which some of us must prove that not all Nigerians are evil, greedy and corrupt. We still have good people in this country and amazingly, they are in the majority.
The managers of the LAY FAITHFUL TRUST FUND are determined to set forth a new standard of corporate accountability and honesty in managing public funds.
Besides, there shall be regular audit of the accounts and the Audit Report shall be made public. CSMN already publishes monthly report of all its donors as well as all its expenses every month
It is hoped that there would none of such Church leaders. The handwriting on the wall is clear. We are all in mortal danger.
However, if any Church leader refuses to support, it would not stop the Lord from accomplishing His purpose. We can only hope that there would be none of such.
First, every Christian should support and contribute. In addition, join us in mobilizing more support. Individuals can use Social Media handles to repost media cards of the LAY FAITHFUL TRUST FOUNDATION to all Christian contacts. Christians can also arrange for officials of the LAY FAITHFUL TRUST FOUNDATION to visit their Churches or speak to their Fellowships as a way of mobilizing more support.
Christians can volunteer to serve in any area of these areas:
- Ministry to persecuted Christians under Humanitarian Directorate
- Christian Political mobilization and harmonization
- Legal intervention
- Media and Publicity
- Data gathering
- Youth mobilization and empowerment
- Zonal Coordinator
- State Coordinator