Religious Crisis: Muslim Leaders Visit Bishop

The leadership of Jama'atu Nasril Islam (JNI) has taken a bold initiative to bridge the unhealthy and suspicious gap that had pervaded the relationship between Christians and Muslims in Plateau State by visiting the Catholic Arch-Diocese headquarters in Jos.

Leader of the delegation and Chairman of Jos North Local Government area branch of JNI, Alhaji Inuwa Ali informed the Arch-Bishop of Jos Diocese, Bishop Ignatius Kaigama that the delegation brought "a message of peace and love" in the spirit of Eid-el-Kabir.

Ali noted that there was hardly any difference between the two religions even as he noted that there was no reason why adherents of both should not work in unity.

He recalled that during the September 7, 2001 crisis in the state, the Bishop gave shelter to fleeing Muslims who sought refuge in the church adding that the Muslims who took refuge in the church were adequately taken care of.

While expressing hope that the sallah visit will cement the relationship between the two groups and enhance peace in the state, Inuwa noted that the two religions abhor same vices like drunkenness, prostitution and inhuman killings.

Responding, Bishop Kaigama said he was overwhelmed by the visit but commended the JNI for taking the bold initiative.

The Bishop stressed that religious leaders must enlighten their followers not to use religion for political ends or to settle old scores.

"Religion is about piety and good works, it is about showing love to one another no matter your religion or ethnic background. Everybody deserves freedom of religion wherever he/she is," he stated

Kaigama condemned the notion that some states were "Muslim states" while some are categorised "Christian states". "This is bad and should be condemned. It does not augur well for the development of the nation. We should be able to worship anywhere and anytime without molestation. We are all the same and worship the same God and should therefore work together in fellowship," Kaigama affirmed.