Christian and Muslim communities are working together to heal the tensions between the two religious groups after Boko Haram. Boko Haram, an Islamic extremist group, has destroyed communities in northern Nigeria and has created distrust between Christians and Muslims. Will these communities continue to be broken?
4/6/2013 Nigeria (AllAfrica) – Move towards fostering understanding between Muslims and Christians in Kaduna state was made as Muslims residing in various parts of the state joined their Christian counterparts on Easter Monday to celebrate the festival together.
For many years, series of crises in Kaduna state led to killings and destruction of property, including places of worship. These in turn created big demarcations between Christian and Muslim settlements. The experiences are bitter, and they have created deep mutual distrust amongst the people.
But at Kaduna open prison hall where the gathering took place on Monday there was merriment as followers of the two religions wined and dined together. They also spoke with open minds, lamenting over the cord of hatred and bitterness existing among them. They also showed readiness to live in unity as they did in the past.
In his remark at the event, chairman and founder of Peace Revival and Reconciliation Foundation of Nigeria, Pastor Yohanna Y. Buru, who is also the organiser of the event said that peace was the reason for inviting Muslims to rejoice with Christians at Easter.
“We want to break the cord of hatred between Muslims and Christians in this state and in Nigeria at large and we believe that little by little, we will overcome the threat to peace and peaceful coexistence. We have gone into communities, meeting with traditional rulers from the Christian and Muslim sides as well as community leaders, discussing how they can contribute to peace and how they are going to encourage the peace in the state,” Buru said.
“Every person whether young or old, male or female, Christians or Muslim must contribute their quota of peace because without peace, we cannot live; without peace, we cannot progress, neither can we practice our faith. We must all preach peace. Stop spreading rumour, stop saying what is not there and don’t hate anybody because of his/her tribe or religion; we are all created by God,” he pleaded to the audience.
The chairman of Sabon Kawo Youths Development Association, Salihu Ibrahim commended, the gesture noting that Kaduna state is sharply divided along religious line unlike what was obtainable in the past when Christians and Muslims irrespective of tribe lived together in peace and celebrated festivities together.
“But now the seed of discord has been sown between Christians and Muslims and as such we run away from each other; Muslims no longer live with Christians because of fear and vice versa. Togetherness is very important and there is no need running away from each other,” he stressed.