…Outnumbered Christians at Christmas church service.
by Achadu Gabriel, Kaduna
Muslims in large numbers, including women and children, youth and Islamic scholars stormed a Southern Kaduna Church Friday morning with the sole aim of joining their Christian friends and relatives in celebrating Christmas, the General Overseer of Christ’s Evangelical and Life Interventions Church, Pastor Yohanna Buru, has said.
The Christian cleric pointed out that “Every year, Muslims from various states of northern Nigeria do usually come to the church and celebrate Christmas with them, and even this year, despite the outbreak of Corona-virus pandemic and economic recession, Muslims in large numbers visited the church and joined them during the Christmas service to foster peace and unity.
Buru said, this year’s Christmas sermon was focused on religious tolerance, forgiveness, better understanding, peace, love and unity among Nigerians, and the need for both Muslim and Christian clerics to be more committed through prayers for the nation for peace stability and the progress of the country.
Muslim scholars, traditional title holders, peace ambassadors, stakeholders on peace building from Katsina, Kano, Sokoto, Zamfara, Zaria, Jos and others from local governments of Kaduna state attended the service.
Pastor Buru stated clearly that the Muslims that attended the church service were from all the groups of Muslims, which include Sunnih, Darikar- Tijjaniyya and Muslim Shiites, saying, “They eat and drink with us, also pray for the country together, also donate their offering during the service like every other Christian that attended the morning service did.”
He said, the church really appreciates the presence of our Muslim brethren and sisthren that came in large numbers from various places to join them in celebrating Christmas Day, stressing that last year, the number of Muslims tripled the Christians, and even this year, the number has increased.
“We are happy seeing our brothers and sisters joining us in today’s Christmas service, and this shows clearly that peace and unity is gradually coming back to the region after series of setback as a result of ethno-religious, political killing that brought so many backward to the entire 19 northern states of the region.
“We must join hands together and pray to Almighty God to bring an end to corruption, banditry, terrorism, robbery, kidnapping and unnecessary killing of human beings in the region.
“Our education, agriculture, health and economy is facing a serious backwardness due to insecurity challenges bedeviling peace stability in the entire region.
“Until our leaders from the entire region, including former heads of states and various religious leaders and traditional title holders with scholars from various tertiary institutions come together and find out ways and solution to the current situation before the region would regain its lost integrity,” Buru said, while mentioning that, “Peace and prayers are the two most important thing that Nigeria needs at this crucial time.”
The Christian cleric pointed that Nigeria is facing tough time due to outbreak of noble Corona-virus pandemic, which led to many infections and death world-wide, while on the other side, it causes the inflation that triggered the increase of food prices, commodities, high cost of living, and the worst part of it is the increasing insecurity challenges bedeviling all sectors of human endeavors.
He said, “We have offended God in so many ways; so many atrocities and daily killing, hence the need to seek for his assistance to rescue the country against facing more and more trials and challenges.
Buru then called on Muslims and Christians to remember that they were created by one God, and Adam and Eve were their original biological parents.
“I’m pleading with Muslims and Christians across the globe to use the season in promoting peace and unity and to forgive one another, so as to live in peace like the rest of the world,” he said.
Pastor Buru added also that both Muslims and Christians have Holy Books, which guided them on how to accommodate, tolerate and live peacefully with one another.
He then expressed satisfaction over the visit by all the Muslim groups that came to the church to rejoice with them to mark the birth of Jesus Christ.
He drew the attention of both Muslim and Christian youths to shun drug abuse, idleness, and criminal activities and start thinking of how to move the nation head.
Responding, Sheikh Abudllahi Muddars, who attended the service, prayed for Nigeria, as he called on Muslims and Christians to keep on praying for the country.
He said, “We must pray for peace and unity of the nation,” while calling on youths to also donate their quarter in peace building.
Another Muslim leader that prayed during the service is Mallam Ahmed Bello, from Kaduna, that we must join hands with prayers for peace stability in the country.
He said “Christians are our brothers; therefore, we must celebrate the birth of our Prophet. This is a season of promoting peace and unity; that is why we are here to celebrate with our brothers.”
In his own message, Pastor Akila Hayab prayed God to have mercy with Nigeria, while asking God to restore back peace and stability in the country.
Also in his closing remark and felicitation, the traditional title holders of Kurmin-Mashi, Kaduna state, Mallam Rabo Abdullahi, said “We must be grateful to Almighty God for granting us with the opportunity to be here today for Christmas celebration,” and called on both Muslims and Christians to be peace ambassadors, in order to promote peace stability in the country.
While wishing every one safe journey back home, he equally called on Muslims and Christians to pray for the Nigerian Army on peace missions all over the world.