Christian and Muslim leaders meet in Nigeria to rein in conflicts
Christians who live in Muslim dominated States of Northern Nigeria have been facing sever persecution since introduction of Sharia law in those States.
06/06/2008 Nigeria (AfricaFiles)-Nigerian Christian and Muslim religious leaders are meeting in the northern city of Maiduguri , seeking ways to rebuild broken relationships that were once harmonious between the two largest faiths in Africa ‘s most populous nation. Conflicts, often triggered by inter-religious tensions, in the past 30 years are said to have claimed more than half a million lives and to have led to the displacement of millions in a country that has not officially experienced a war for four decades.
The meeting in the country’s north, where Muslims predominate, came at the request of Nigeria ‘s Inter-religious Council. The interfaith body was established nine years ago at the prompting of Roman Catholic bishops due to incessant inter-religious conflicts that had engulfed the country. It was intended as a platform under which religious leaders could meet to discuss common problems confronting Nigerian Christians and Muslims. “Our desire has been to see that religious conflicts are reduced to a minimum,” Samuel Salifu, secretary general of the Christian Association of Nigeria, told Ecumenical News International. “A lot of Muslim leaders crave for peaceful relationships with Christians and that is why we’ve been discussing to see how we can live in unity and peace in the country.”