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Nigerian Christian Leader Condemns Muslim Counter-Evangelism Remark

ICC Note

Remarks by the leader of Muslims in Nigeria are feared to spark sectarian violence in the country. Here is what leader of Christian association in Nigeria said about the remarks of the Muslim leader.

Ethan Cole

Fri, Jul. 06 2007 Nigeria (Christian Post)

A leader of Nigeria ’s Christian association has denounced the vow made by the country’s top Muslim leader earlier this week to counter Christian evangelism, calling it uncalled for and “unfortunate.”

“The statement is unfortunate, coming from somebody who is highly placed like the sultan,” said CAN’s Elder Saidu Dogo on Thursday, according to the Nigeria-based newspaper Daily Champion. “You see while the past and present governments have been trying to forge an inter-religious tolerance among us, this statement from the sultan is very unfortunate.”

Abubakar, speaking at a meeting of northern emirs Monday, had expressed concern over increased Christian evangelism in the country and urged a Muslim group to step-up evangelism including through the use of media technology.

The sultan is the spiritual leader of Nigeria ’s 70 million Muslims and is also the president general of the Muslim group Jama’atu Nasil Islam (JNI). However, the sultan is not a religious leader himself, but rather acts as a representative of the region’s Muslims on important issues.


“Nobody in this country can stop the expansion of Christianity,” Dogo said. “It is our constitutional right. It is our religious right. We do not stop Muslims from evangelizing if they like.

“For the sultan to say they will counter Christian missionary activities in this country is unfortunate… But this is a clarion call for all our evangelists to put more efforts to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ,” he said.

Nigeria is near equally divided between Christians in the south and Muslims in the north, with followers of both faiths living where the other religion is dominant.

Sectarian violence between Muslim and Christians has long been a problem in Nigeria .


Since 1999, there have been at least 15,000 deaths due to religious, communal or political violence since democracy was restored in Nigeria , according to BBC.

Despite Abubakar’s statement, political leaders at the meeting of northern emirs have called for inter-religious dialogue during the spread of Islam. Government officials expressed fear that the sultan’s statement could spark increase sectarian violence in the already religiously tense West African nation


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