COVID-19 heals Nigeria religious divisions

Christians, Muslims

from EMEKA OKONKWO in Abuja, Nigeria
ABUJA, (CAJ News) IN a rare show of religious maturity, Christians and Muslims in Nigeria have come together to seek divine intervention against the coronavirus (COVID-19).

Leaders of the two denominations have pledged three-days of prayer and fasting, starting on Friday (tomorrow) to Sunday throughout the country.

Reverend Samson Ayokunle, President of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), and Sultan (Muslim king) of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar Mohammadu IV, are leading the process.

The Muslims will begin on Friday by praying in the National Mosque in the capital city, Abuja.

Christians will end the prayer on Sunday in the National Christian Centre, also in the capital city.

The leaders assured these prayers would respect social distancing.

Prayers will be held under the umbrella of the Nigerian Inter-Religious Council (NIREC).

The council has been calling on all Christians and Muslims to put the country in their prayers as it contends with the virus. It has also been conducting meetings, via Zoom, every Thursday with the Office of the Secretary to Government.

Joseph Bade Daramola, CAN General Secretary, appreciated the efforts of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 for leading interventions against the pandemic.

“In furtherance of this effort, NIREC calls for three days of fasting and prayers for every Nigerian,” Daramola said.

Nigeria has confirmed over 22 600 cases and 549 deaths from COVID-19.

The pandemic came at a time the West African country was experiencing deadly religious tensions.

There is an equal number of Christians and Muslims in Africa’s most populous country of an estimated 200 million people.

– CAJ News

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