Muslim group worship in a church.
To strengthen inter religious harmony and enhance national cohesion, a strong delegation of Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), attended the 2019 New Year service at St. Mary’s Parish Catholic Church, Samaru, Zaria, Kaduna State.
IMN, a Shiites Muslim group led by the detained Islamic cleric, Sheik Ibrahim El-Zazzaky also sighted the need to further boost the bond of relationship between Christians and Muslims toward fostering national unity.
The leader of the delegation, Prof. Isa Mshelgaru of Building Department, Faculty of Environmental Design, Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, said the visit was to strengthen relationship between the two faiths.
Describing Christians as the closest people to Islam, the University don lamented that politicians who hide under religion to achieve personal desires had divided Nigerians for selfish reasons.
“Killing one another is an imaginary life; in the actual sense, it does not exist; we are all created by one God, we must therefore, endeavour to live together in peace with one another.
“We should share joy, happiness and sorrow together. Our leader, Sheik Ibrahim El-Zazzaky said we should learn to live together in peace.
“When we are united as Nigerians, nothing will break us apart and nothing will go against the peace of the nation, not even Boko Haram or militants or any other thing else.”
While welcoming the delegation, the parish Priest, Rev. Fr. Michael Ibrahim-Bazai, expressed appreciation for the visit, describing it as the first of its kind.
He said: “We are happy to receive our brothers and sisters from Islamic faith here in our Church to celebrate with us today on 1st January 2019.
“It is true that sometimes we are scared of each other, this is because some of us are ignorant of the religion but we are all one.”
Ibrahim-Bazai stressed the need for followers of the two religions to always practice their religion according to their tenets to pave way for peaceful and harmonious relationship.
He admonished Christians and Muslims to respect, accommodate, embrace and tolerate one another towards building a stronger society and by extension, a stronger nation.
The priest expressed his appreciation for the genuine efforts of the movement for rescuing and providing medical treatment to some Christians during religious crises in Zaria and urged them to continue in that spirit.
Ibtahim-Bazzai also canvassed for consideration of Christians in areas of employment opportunities and university admission quota, especially in some professional courses in ABU.
The visitors were hosted to a lunch and refreshment at the Church premises. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), reports.