Beyond Religion

Regardless Of Race, colour, tribe or tongue, man is the image and likeness of God, the object of his compassion and sacrificial love. Love is the very symbol of God, hence the injunction to love as proof of the knowledge of God. Love particularly expresses itself in circumstances of helplessness and need.

God sent his only begotten son, Jesus Christ to pay the price of death for the ransom, redemption and restoration of man to his rightful place with God and in creation. Those who have received love are enjoined to show love to others yet to experience God’s love.

Prison Fellowship is the forum for those who are motivated by God’s love to respond to the love need of prisoners, ex-prisoners, victims of crime and their families. Crime, criminality and its dire, destructive and devastating effects know no barriers of any sort. It concerns all, including you.

Prison Fellowship, a faith based NGO, has since 1989, in 70 prisons across 20 state with about 100, 000 inmates, been involved in programmes, project and services aimed at healing, reformation, restoration and reintegration of prisoners, victim of crime and their families, through salvation messages for inward regeneration, repentance and faith in the finished works of salvation, at Calvary.

Material assistance and reiterative support are also provided. Prison fellowship provides counsel to the Government for improvement in the criminal justice system aimed not just at punishment of the offender but importantly, his reformation, rehabilitation and reintegration as well as victim remedy and restoration of social relationships ruptured by crime.

The injunction is, let your light so shine before man that they may is your good works and glorify your father which is in heaven. So, to be religious is not to pontificate but to respond to the needs of those incapacitated by imprisonment, sickness, hunger and destitution in ways that evoke appreciation and praise of God. It is for these kinds of service that you can receive approval and blessings both for now and hereafter.

You cannot afford to stand aloof while our society is made vulnerable by growing band of deviants swelled by embittered ex-prisoners, ostracized and rejected by a pontificating society. Our injunction is to overcome evil with good. Hence Prison Fellowship is not inhibited by the seeming insurmountable social bias but present itself as a socio-divine vessel through which God, in Christ Jesus is reaching out to the hurt, ostracized, lonely and bruised prisoners, ex-prisoners, victim of crime and their families; to supply spiritual support, physiological and psychological needs, through visits, counseling and provision of material assistance – toiletries, medication, literacy programs, boreholes for portable drinking water. Other program include after sentence mentoring, micro credit and family support, etc.

Prison Fellowship is committed to improved social security and harmony hence its preference and advocacy for the replacement of the Retributive Criminal Justice System with the Restorative Criminal Justice System. Prison Fellowship recognizes the ultimate goal of justice is not fulfilled solely through the punishment of the offender. Justice is accomplished when the damage done by crime to a community and individual victim is repaired, and when the offender is appropriately punished and rehabilitated.

Prison Fellowship shares the concerns of Government and indeed the society at large, on overcrowding in our custodial institutions but does not believe that the answer is only in periodic mass releases; it is rather of the view that the prison gates be narrowed by a significant decriminalization of our criminal code and review of our sentencing options in preference for alternative sentencing like community service, fines and restitution. Nobody should be sent to jail for crossing the expressway, environmental sanitation offences or petty quarrels and fist cuffs.

Prison Fellowship has and will continue to organize Restorative Justice events as a medium of practical appraisal and re-engineering of our Criminal Justice System to one that is humane, holistic and consistent with personal responsibility, punishment and restoration of the offender, victim remedy and restoration of societal equilibrium and harmony.

These all go beyond religion, to speak of social relevance and being our brothers’ keepers; in that is true worth, praise and reward.

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