By Sylvanus Viashima, Jalingo
Jalingo – Following the growing tension between the Christian and Muslim religious sect in the state, the Youth and Young Adult Ministry of Southern Nigeria Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church of Nigeria (UMCN) weekend organized a 2022 Youth Summit with the theme ‘Promoting Inclusive Interreligious Harmony Among Religious Faith Groups through Interreligious Dialogue (IRD) in Taraba State’.
Leader of the group Mr Bulus Audi Daniel in his remark said that the dialogue became expedient following recent tensions between the two leading religious sects in the state and alleged incitement of violence by some clerics outside the state.
Daniel who maintained that as political beings, Nigerians, irrespective of religious leanings, are expected to participate fully in politics as part of their obligation and civil responsibilities, insisted that a line must be drawn between religion and politics.
He said that the dialogue targeting women and youth was aimed at looking at the best ways to enlighten the people and encourage religious tolerance and peaceful coexistence especially as elections are drawing closer.
“We need to create synergy between Christian and Muslim youth, we need to build peace and sensitize our young people using the religious platform and to also ensure we contribute immensely to the development of our state Taraba and Nigeria as a whole. I encourage you all to take advantage of this summit think of ways to change the present narrative and have create a more robust relationship between the two leading religious sects in our state. It is very important that we step down our message of peace to the grassroots, even as we continue to encourage governments at all levels to create policies aimed at fostering unity among the two religions” Daniel said.
Our correspondent reports that Dr. Aliyu Nbiko spoke on Promoting Inclusive Interreligious Harmony Among Religious Faith Groups through Interreligious Dialogue while Mr. Bulus Audu Daniel spoke on The role of religion in National Development.
The dialogue drew participants from various groups including Members of the Youth Ministry from various districts, Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria, Muslim Corpers Association of Nigeria,Youth Wing of the Christian Association of Nigeria, Federation of Muslim Women Association of Nigeria and others.
Some of the participants who spoke to our correspondent said that the dialogue has given them a more enlightened perspective on religious tolerance and promised to step down the message to their people at every opportunity they have as ambassadors of religious harmony in the state.