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News Link • Africa: On the Map

In Country Plagued By Religious Violence, Mosque Was Built Next Door to a Church - and...


What would happen if you built a Muslim mosque right next door to a Christian church in a country that is plagued by religious violence?

In Nigeria, where religious violence has intensified over the course of the last year, building two places of worship so close to each other seemed like an impossibility. Residents in the suburb of Kudanden were nervous when construction began on the new mosque, as it was situated next to a Living Faith church. The buildings even shared a fence-line.

But despite clashes between the two religious groups in other parts of the country, worshipers here have been determined to work together.

"The issue of peaceful co-existence, or better still, refer to it as religious co-existence, cannot be over-emphasized," said Christian resident Isiah Benjamin.

"So if the mosque is going to be used to worship and serve god, and the church is going to be used to worship and serve god, there's no big deal about it, it's a good one, and it therefore shows that we, as human beings, must learn to live as one."

The harmony in the community was aided by a memorandum of understanding that was established by leaders in the region. The chief of Kudanden, Gabriel Galadima, said leaders from both parties were brought together to recognize a mutual, peaceful, understanding.

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