Tuesday, 1 January 2019

Exclusive Report - Shiites Members Visit Catholic Church, Attend New

Members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria also known as Shiites today, attended the 2019 New Year Church Service inZaria,Kaduna State,to strengthen inter-religious harmony and enhance national cohesion.

The News Agency of Nigeria ,NAN reports that the group attended the service atSt. Mary’s Parish Church,Samaru, Zaria, Kaduna State.Commenting on behalf of the group, the leader of the delegation,Prof. IsaMshelgaruof Building Department, Faculty of Environmental Design, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, said the visit was to strengthen relationshipbetween the two faiths.Mshelgaru said the visit was meant tofurther boost the bond of relationship between the followers of twofaithtoward fostering national unity.He observed that going by the tenets of the two major religions in Nigeria, none of which preaches violence, adding that they both preach peace, love, unity and joy.

The don described Christians as the closest people to Islam but lamented that Nigerians were divided by selfish politicians who hide under religion to achieve personal desires.“We are all created by one God, wemust, therefore, endeavour to live together in peace with one another.“We should share joy, happiness and sorrow together. Our leader,Sheik Ibrahim El-Zakzakysaid we should learn to live together in peace.“When we are united as Nigerians, nothing will break us apart and nothingwill go against the peace of the nation, not even Boko Haram nor militants or any other thing.”On his part, the Parish Priest,Rev. Fr. Michael Ibrahim-Bazai, appreciatedmembers of the IMN for their presencein the church. He described the visit itas 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 its tenets to pave way for peaceful and harmonious relationship.He encouraged members of the two faiths to respect, accommodate, embrace and tolerate one another.The priest lauded the efforts of the movement for rescuing and providing medical treatment to some Christians during religious crises in Zaria and urged them to sustain the tempo.He sought for consideration of Christians in areas of admission quota,especially in some professional courses in ABU as well as consideration for job vacancies.

NAN reports that the visitors were hosted to lunch at the Church premises.

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