This past Saturday the roof collapsed in the Reigners Bible Church in southern Nigeria. At least 160 people were killed, although the final body count is likely to rise once the area's mortuaries are able to process all of the deceased.
The church was still under construction, but was open for the ordainment of a bishop. Girders supporting the roof buckled and the roof caved in on the congregants during the ceremony. Collapsing buildings are a problem in Nigeria because of the rampant corruption among contractors and building inspectors. Contractors pay off building inspectors to ignore sub-standard materials, poor craftsmanship, and missing building permits far too frequently.
This is a tragic situation and should not be taken lightly. But, like the situation involving the church that collapsed during the earthquake in Italy a little over a month ago, I cannot help but wonder how Christians can rationalize the idea of their good, all-loving God allowing something like this to happen. Believing that God’s plan for these people involved crushing them to death in his own house of worship strikes me as a monstrous idea.
My hope would be that the surviving congregants would recognize the real-world reasons behind this and take action against the faults in their society that are leading to these architectural dangers. I fear though that too many of them will instead just pray for the souls of the deceased and the problem will not get solved.