By Nelson Manneh

Christians from different denominations in the country have converged on Saturday, 5 March, 2016 for a national day of prayers organised by the Gambia Christian Council (GCC) at the Independence Stadium handball court in Bakau.

Speaking on the occasion, Pastor John Njie, the chairperson of the occasion, said the day is organised in order for all Christians in the Gambia to come together and give praises to God.

‘’This program is not in line with the president’s declaration of The Gambia being an Islamic state but for the Christians to come together since they are from different denominations and all their faith lies in Jesus and Jesus is one. Therefore all churches are from one foundation,’’ said Pastor Njie.

He said the Christian Council should be organising such occasions but it has not been happening but that by the grace of God they will continue doing it.

Hannah C. Faal-Heim, Presiding Bishop of the Methodist Church and GCC Chairperson, in her opening remarks, said this is the day that the Lord has made for them and they will rejoice as one family and on this national day of prayer for the entire nation to see them as it is declared that the Gambia is now an Islamic state.

“As Christians, we have a God who is ready to answer to our prayers so therefore we come to meet him here, ‘’ said Bishop Heim, adding “as Christians, we should not loss our faith in any circumstances, as it is written in the Bible, we are the salt and the light of the world; when light sings it overshadows the darkness, despite how small it may be.”

Bishop James Odico of the Anglican Church, said since on the 10th December 2015 there was a question that came to his mind and keeps coming to him still now which he wants to ask. ‘’Does a referee take sides in a game or should he be neutral?” asked the Anglican Bishop.

Bishop Odico said they should pray to God for the Gambia’s referees to be straight.  He noted that the scriptures say the battles are not for them but for the Lord.

“Today is a thanksgiving day and we thank God for what he has done to us; especially the peace that prevails in the Gambia is not by the will of man but by the will of God,” said Bishop Odico.

He said Jesus gives them a new commandment that is to love one another and that as Christians they should admire the Gambia, follow the Gambia and be the people of the Gambia. He said as Christians they should put their trust in Jesus for he is the alpha and the omega, the beginning and the end.

The Anglican Bishop cited the Gambian national anthem and read it out as thus:

“For The Gambia our homeland

We strive and work and pray,

That all may live in unity,

Freedom and peace each day.

Let justice guide our actions

Towards our common good,

And join our diverse peoples

To prove man’s brotherhood.

We pledge our firm allegiance,

Our promise we renew; keep us

Keep us, grate God of nations,

To The Gambia ever true.

“Therefore, the Gambian people should maintain the peace and justice to its people’’ concluded Bishop Odico.

The Gambia Christians Council acknowledged the contributions made by some institutions to facilitate the organisation of the event namely the Guaranty Trust Bank, Africell, Gambia Pastoral Institute, Solmic Catering, Unique Graphics, West Coast Radio, Hot FM, Knights of Saints Peters and Paul, among others.