David Onwuchekwa, Nnewi
The Anglican Communion in Aguata Local Governmnet Area of Anambra State has barred intending couples in the diocese from living together as well as pregnancy before wedding.
Other practices banned in the diocese are conducting church wedding before traditional rites and the bride and her maids putting on attires which expose parts of their bodies, among other charges.
The injunctions were part of the presidential address of the Bishop of Aguata Diocese, Rt Rev Dr. Samuel Chukwudi Ezeofor, to mark the first session of the fifth synod of the church, with the theme: “Jesus Christ: The foundation and chief corner stone,” held at the Cathedral Church of St John, Ekwulobia.
Bishop Ezeofor said the church would be better off if members follow God’s principles of, and worse off, if they rejected it to do it their own way. He said marriage has been grossly abused in the society and needed to be corrected.
He told the church that false and faulty foundations in marriage spell doom and disaster and give satan dangerous hold on homes and families. He said that is why it is of paramount importance that marriage “henceforth, should be contracted in line with the approved Christian norms based on the word of God, which is the manual that tells us the mind of God who instituted it.”
He said every approved traditional rites and activities must be completed before church wedding, which he noted should be the final blessing of the marriage.
The bishop warned against pre-marital relationship and said it is unchristian for intending couples to live together and/or the lady being pregnant before wedding. He told the congregants that pregnancy, genotype and HIV tests must be conducted and submitted one week before wedding.
Such tests, he said, should be done in diocesan authorised hospitals alone. According to him, those with HIV and genotype issues should be given the right counsel to avoid heart aches and unpleasant experiences in future.