By Ibrahim Mohammad, Kaduna
In an effort to maintain and sustain peaceful co-existence irrespective of religious and ethnic differences, Christians and Muslims in Kaduna seized the opportunity of Christmas and New Year celebration to worship together in a Church in state.
It could be recalled that on Christmas day about 200 Muslims youth also guarded a Church during service within the metropolis.
Pastor Yohanna Buru, Head of Christ Evangelical Church who disclosed this in an interview expressed happiness with the development, saying it was a sign that peace with peaceful coexistence has gradually returned to the state.
The Christian cleric pointed out that there was no dispute between Christian and Islamic books as he lamented the senseless killing of innocent people on the basis of religion, saying in reality, people were from the same root and lineage.
“We are happy to have them in our church to come and worship with us at the same time offer us protection. I am delighted with the development.
“It means that peace, harmony and coexistence has return to the state and we intend to continue educating our fellow Christians to reciprocate same.
“We call you here not as guests, but as brothers and neighbours.
“We urge Muslims and Christians to reconcile and forgive one another before the re-emergence of the awaited saviours.
“If we don’t reconcile now, I live to see how we can be salvaged by Imam Mahdi and Jesus Christ,” he said.
The presence of Muslims in his Church on Christmas Day, he said, should not be out of place, explaining that it was to celebrate and anticipate the re-emergence of the awaited saviours both religions professed.
It was gathered that majority of the Muslim youths at the Church were members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, Kaduna zone.
Responding on behalf of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, Dr. Shu’aibu Musa extended a goodwill message from the Leader of the movement, Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky to the Christian faithful at Christmas, and called for more collaboration to rid the society of religious extremism.
Both Muslims and Christians, he said, were equally oppressed and therefore had a common enemy. He called for closer ties to salvage the society.
One of the Muslims that participated in protecting the church on that day Allaramma Abdulrahman Abdullahi said this was just the beginning.
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“We decided to protect them as they worship to show them love and respect because it is what our religion Islam teaches us. We intend to continue if possible not only during festivities but even on Sunday’s” he said.
Though the Ayo Oritsejafor-led Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN leadership was unaware and had claimed this benevolent cooperation did not happen, NewsRescue has been able to confirm that it did happen and is the beginning of a new direction in the state used to frequent tensions. The reason for CAN’s denial is not fathomable however by now we are sure the national organization have verified this precedence and are happy to be a part of and promote such peaceful initiatives.
The National Coordinator of Muslim Media Watch Group of Nigeria, MMWG, Alhaji Ibrahim Abdullahi, in a statement described the action by the Muslim youths as a “wonderful act of brotherhood that would go a long way to promote unity, understanding, tolerance and stability in the state.
“This act depicts the true teachings of Islam that believers should tolerate each other as we worship the same God in different ways.
“We call on true Muslims across the whole country to emulate Kaduna Muslim youths to bring back religious peace and harmony that has been threatened due to activities of some misguided elements among us,” he said.
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