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HomeHeadlines“Jesus paid your debts, not your taxes”: Your Easter Massage is Insensitive,...

“Jesus paid your debts, not your taxes”: Your Easter Massage is Insensitive, provocative; CAN demands FIRS Apology 

“Jesus paid your debts, not your taxes”: Your Easter Massage is Insensitive, provocative; CAN demands FIRS Apology

The Christian Association of Nigeria has demanded a public apology from the Federal Inland Revenue Service over an Easter post, which the Christian body said it deemed offensive to adherents of the faith.

The FIRS, in a post on X (formerly Twitter), #FIRSNigeria, had shared a picture with the caption “Jesus paid your debts, not your taxes”.
The post had elicited reactions from Nigerians, particularly those of the Christian faith, who condemned the post, describing it as irreverent to the occasion.

While the post has been taken down, CAN’s National Director of National Issues and Social Welfare, Prophet Abimbola Ayuba, in a statement on Tuesday, called on President Bola Tinubu, the Minister of Finance, Wale Edun, and the Department of State Services to take cognizance of the incident and guide the FIRS in adhering to only messages that promoted unity and peace.

He expressed concern for the recurrence of “provocative messages” around religious holidays and called for religious convictions to be treated with respect while urging private and public institutions to be cognizant of the religious diversities in the country.
CAN said, “In light of recent events, we call upon the management of the FIRS to retract the message and offer a public apology for the distress caused. We also urge the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Minister of Finance, Wale Edun and the Department of State Security Service to take cognizance of this incident and to guide the FIRS in adhering to communication strategies that promote respect, unity, and cohesion.

“As a nation that prides itself on religious harmony and peaceful coexistence, we are deeply concerned by the recurrence of provocative messages around religious holidays. This year, a public institution, which should be the bastion of exemplary conduct, has been implicated in disseminating content that is widely regarded as offensive and derogatory to the Christian faith.
“The Easter period, a time of solemn reflection and sacred observance for Christians, should not be juxtaposed with civic obligations in a manner that trivialises or mocks core religious beliefs. Religious convictions are at the heart of our identity and deserve the utmost respect.

“The analogy drawn by the FIRS between the pivotal Christian doctrine of redemption, and the civic duty of tax payment has been received with distress and indignation by the Christian community.

“The Christian Association of Nigeria advises all public and private organisations to exercise caution and consideration for the diverse religious backgrounds of our society. It is crucial that communications, especially from public institutions, are crafted with a clear understanding of the cultural and religious tapestry that defines our nation.”
In 2022, similar reactions trailed a Sterling Bank advert 2022, where the bank had equated the Biblical resurrection of Jesus with Agege bread.
The copy had shown a puffed, golden brown, halved Agege Bread with the caption, ‘Like Agege Bread, He Rose… Happy Easter.
However, Sterling Bank had tendered apologies days after, following sanctions by the Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria, describing the advert as “insensitive and provocative”.
Again in April 2023, CAN issued a statement to condemn an Easter advert by Peak Milk, in which the company had shown a defaced tin captioned “Bruised and pierced for us… #GoodFriday.

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