In an act of love and to promote greater religious tolerance, a Muslim sect known as the Shiites attended a Christmas church service at one of the biggest denominations on Sunday in Zaria, Kaduna State.
The prayer meeting took place in Samaru, Sabon Gari, Zaria, Kaduna State at the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria (Ekkelisiyar ‘Yan Uwa Ta Nigeria (EYN)).
In order to foster even more love and increase religious tolerance between the two faiths, the group also gave a gift to the church.
The team’s leader, Prof. Isah Mshelgaru, told reporters after the ceremony that the main purpose of going to the service was to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ with other Christians.
He continued by saying that the goal of the trip was to strengthen the already-existing ties between the two religions.
He said, “Islam says if someone is not your brother in faith, he is your brother in humanity and we share this humanity with everybody, either Muslim, Christian or whatever.
“We decided to attend this church service today because today is Christmas Day, a day that the birth of Jesus Christ is being celebrated over the globe and we feel that we also have our concern to share with them the feelings of the day Jesus was born.
“The coming of Jesus to this world is a blessing to everybody, so we wish that we should come and celebrate this glorious day with them.”
Mshelgaru emphasized that they are at the church service to join them in celebrating and sharing the joy of this day with them as they are Muslims and that they view Christians as their other brothers and sisters in humanity.
“As they (Christians) attach importance to this day so also we attach so much importance to the day and that is why we came today to clear all the unnecessary imaginary boundaries that have been created between Muslims and Christians.
“This is important now that the country is facing multiple security challenges that require all hands to be on deck in order to overcome them,” he noted.
Mshelgaru urged Nigerians to unite in order to save the country, regardless of differences in religion, ethnicity, or politics.
Rev. Tijjani Chindo, the resident pastor at the EYN Church in Samaru, Zaria, also mentioned how the church welcomed the Muslims with delight and urged others to do the same across the nation.
He continued by saying that the goal of Jesus Christ’s coming was to free humanity from the shackles of sin.
“We are all one, as the Lord has told us to love one another and extend the good tidings of salvation which Christ has brought to the world.
“He (Christ) has come in a humble way; we are celebrating his coming in a humble way, we are not differentiating ourselves from Muslims. Today we are celebrating the good news that the Lord has come,’’ he said.
Chindo also encouraged Nigerians to pray more and seek God’s guidance as the general election in 2023 draws near.
He continued by urging eligible voters to choose leaders peacefully and with the resources to rescue the country from the socioeconomic problems plaguing various regions of Nigeria.