Government can’t tax churches because offerings brought to church are people’s gift to God – Cleric

martinsA Christian cleric, the Catholic Archbishop of the Metropolitan See of Lagos, Dr. Adewale Martins, has called on President Goodluck Jonathan to pay more attention to impunity and corruption. He said a situation where the corrupt were let off the hook would spell doom for Nigeria.

The cleric was speaking to a Punch correspondent in an interview on Friday where he said that there was a need to allow the law take its full course on corrupt individuals, irrespective of their status or affiliations. He said, “Our President has to realise that the nation is bigger than any individual and any group of people. Therefore, if anyone infringes on the right and the good of any nation, such persons need to be treated according to law… In other words, if you have people who are engaged in activities of corruption that tend to affect the well-being of the nation, either economically, politically or religiously, such persons need to be treated according to the law.

People do all kinds of things with the nation’s resources; they do all kinds of things even with religious sentiments and they go scot-free. It is not helping us… I think the President should pay attention to this a lot more like never before. That is not to say that we have not realised that to rule Nigeria is not easy but where there are principles, those principles must be followed.”

Meanwhile, he frowned at the call for taxing of religious organisations, saying the church had a role to play in providing social services. According to him, “I’ve heard some people argue about paying tax. The fact of the matter is that offerings that are brought to the church are people’s gift to God. These people have paid their taxes at their places of work and wish to donate it (offering) for the furtherance of the gospel and social services. That is what the offerings brought to church are meant for.

“The government has no right to tax donations like church collections, church and harvest offerings. The state has no right to tax these because they are put into the life of the nation again through social services and other ways… The fund doesn’t belong to individuals; it belong to the people, therefore it is not taxable. I understand that if there are people who work in government institutions, they should pay tax. And if a priest works in a government institution, he should pay tax. But as a priest working in a parish, I believe government has no right to tax him.”

Source: Punch


  1. This money is not brought for God or given to God. But for good work. God is not a human being. And he does not need money. The church leaders are using this money for themselves mostly, instead of using it to to sufficient and recognisable. Good works and relevant projects in the communities. These exploiters use these money to enrich themselves and the families and friends and buy. Private jets. That is why a reasonable government should be ready to tax thise irrelevant institutions claiming to do God’s work, but end up exploiting the masses and making their conditions worst.

    • My brother, the money (offering) is not for any good works. It is my duty and your duty to do good works. It is not the primary responsibility of the Pastor. Read your bible well.The Bible says “my people are destroyed for lack of knowledge” Hosea 4:6.
      Numbers 18:8-10
      Then the Lord said to Aaron, “I myself have put you in charge of the offerings presented to me; all the holy offerings the Israelites give me I give to you and your sons as your portion, your perpetual share. 9 You are to have the part of the most holy offerings that is kept from the fire. From all the gifts they bring me as most holy offerings, whether grain or sin[a] or guilt offerings, that part belongs to you and your sons. 10 Eat it as something most holy; every male shall eat it. You must regard it as holy.

      Numbers 18:20-21
      20 The Lord said to Aaron, “You will have no inheritance in their land, nor will you have any share among them; I am your share and your inheritance among the Israelites.

      21 “I give to the Levites all the tithes in Israel as their inheritance in return for the work they do while serving at the tent of meeting.

      When we start reading our Bibles, we will stop being judges in cases we are ignorant about.

      • The Levites are the Priests. Those are our Pastors, Bishops and all men that have been called into the service of GOD. Especially;y full time Pastors. Their inheritance is in GOD. I am not a Pastor, i am an ordinary servant of GOD but in don’t hesitate to pay my tithes and offering and any other money i am led to give. Why? I am doing it in obedience to the word of GOD. So, you may say GOD doesn’t need our money, but he needs our obedience. The Bible is complete to negotiate the Bible is hypocrisy. If you believe in the ten commandments, the you should believe in every other aspect of the Bible. Selective obedience = disobedience. Any Pastor that is wrong, GOD will judge. We didn’t send them on assignment ,He called them.