Cardinal calls for Interfaith  harmony among Christians and Muslims

ShekinahToday 7th February 2013 : Cardinal John Onaiyekan calls for peace, love and harmony among Muslims and Christians in Nigeria. According to the news published on the Star news the Catholic leader in Nigeria believes that Christians in Nigeria have been bearing the brunt of Boko Haram, a militant hard line Islamic Organization who wants to enforce Shariah in Nigeria.

Christians have been haunted by Boko Haram in Nigeria in the recent past resulting inter communal killing for more than 3,000 deaths since January 2009, according to the reports by Human Rights Watch.


Catholic cardinal John Onaiyekan.

Boko Haram which means “foreign education is sin” has undertaken systematic attacks against Christians, police stations, churches, schools and the United Stated building in Abuja, capital of Nigeria. It has also used suicide bombers and raided Christian homes.

Bishop Onaiyekan, 69, who was touring Canada lectured on Muslim-Christians relations in the University of St. Michael College.

He believes that extremist groups extend their agendas due to the rampant poverty and corruption and justify their actions. “Bad governance is an environment that promotes and makes it (attacks) possible”.

Nigeria is a home to more than 162 million and has the largest oil reserves in Africa. However due to the conflicts of many sorts and particular serious divide of religion  has done huge damage to the economy of the country. According to the estimate people live on less than a $1 a day .

“Islam in Nigeria must accept that it has a problem,” said the Cardinal, “If they continue to say that Boko Haram is not Muslim then who will go and talk to them? Will it be an archbishop or a cardinal?”

Archbishop John Onaiyekan was appointed as Cardinal last November by Pope Bendict XVI. His mission is to bridge gaps among different religions and to work for interfaith harmony the work which won him an award from a Belgium-based Catholic peace movement.

“We are the greatest Islamo-Chrisitan nations in the world” he said. “That we have survived 50 years in relative peace is an achievement that the world has refused to sufficiently acknowledge.”

“If you are thinking of a future world where the two big religions, Christianity and Islam, must accept one another and live in peace then we have lessons to teach the rest of the world.”

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