By: Mayen Etim
KADUNA, North-West, Nigeria – In the spirit of Ramadan and the present lockdown in the country, Christian clergies joined the Muslim faithful in Kaduna to break their fast on Thursday, May 14, 2020.
Speaking during the Iftar, leader of the Team, General Overseer of Christ Evangelical and Life Intervention Ministry, Sabon Tasha, Kaduna, Pastor Yohanna Buru, said for the past ten years, he has been joining his Muslim friends in breaking interfaith Ramadan Iftar breakfast to promote religious tolerane.
According to him, the gathering is aimed at promoting inter-religious tolerance, forestering unity, and peaceful coexistence among the people.
The breaking of fast which took place in a high Muslim dominated area of Unguwar Sarki, brought together leaders of the two faiths in unity.
Buru disclosed that he has visited notable Islamic leaders and scholars including the Sultan of Sokoto, Dr. Sa’ad Abubakar 111; Shiekh Dahiru Bauchi, Shiekh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, Shiekh Salihu Mai-Barota, Shiekh Ibrahim Yaya , among others during Ramadans.
He explained that Jesus said blessed are the peacemakers, hence, we must do every thing to promote peace and unity among mankind across the world.
The Clergy added that last April Lenten period, Muslims in large numbers visited him at home to join in the breaking of fast despite the Coronavirus lockdown.
“God created us to be in relationship with all human beings irrespective of his or her tribe, culture, religion, colour, size, region and continent.”
The General Overseer noted that the Interfaith Iftar is indeed strengthening the bond of friendship and also promoting unity among the different faith based organizations in the state, and this would help in tackling religious extremism and hatred among Kaduna citizens.
Buru emphasized that joining Muslims in breaking Ramadan Iftar breakfast doesn’t change his religion, and encouraged other Christian leaders to find ways of strengthening interfaith activities.
Responding, Dr. Suleiman Shinkafi, host at the event and a peace ambassador in the state said it was an honour for the Christian clergies to visit his home and join his family in breaking Ramadan fast.
Shinkafi said Pastor Buru needed to be encouraged for his effort at spreading the words of peace and unity among Nigerians.
“An Iftar is the meal eaten after the sun sets during Ramadan and we are happy breaking it with our Christian brothers,” he said.
Dr. Shinkafi called on other Islamic and Christian clerics to always teach their followers how to accommodate and tolerate each other irrespective of his tribe, culture, religion and region.
At the end of the visit both Muslims and Christians pray in their own faith and exchange gifts.