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Leading Nigerian prelate: ‘discover the African brand of Christianity,’ learn about Islam

November 15, 2013

In a recent address to a diocesan synod, the president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria called upon Christians to “discover the African brand of Christianity and Islam” and learn about Islam.

“Knowing that not everybody is a Jew, Arab or Roman, we should work hard to discover the African brand of Christianity and Islam,” said Archbishop Ignatius Kaigama of Jos, according to a Catholic News Service of Nigeria report. “There was a time when Christians prayed only in Latin but now, the Christians are able to pray in the local language.”

“If the Africans can rediscover the values of hospitality, love of community life, respect for elders, and many others, we shall discover that ethnic wars will minimize greatly,” he continued. “The Christian should take a bold step to study Islam, while the Muslim should take bold step to study the Christian religion. This knowledge of the facts of each other’s religion will go a long way to promote peaceful coexistence. It will make us live and accept instead of mere tolerance.”

“One can be a true Muslim at the same time be a true African,” he added. “You as well can be a true Christian at the same time be a true African. Nothing should stop us just now from making the promotion of human dignity and value a basis for dialogue! Nothing is difficult for a willing heart. Believe the incredible, and you will do the impossible.”


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  • Posted by: Randal Mandock - Nov. 17, 2013 7:37 PM ET USA

    I agree with the nukester: the repetition gets old after a few pages. Reading it reminds me of reading the pseudepigrapha: a lot of words, but no new revelation either moral or dogmatic. As an apologist in the early 1990s, I attempted to engage a succession of Muslims in exploratory debate. The attempt failed because I was told that the holy book could be understood properly only if read in Arabic and that every translation into English is corrupt.

  • Posted by: normnuke - Nov. 15, 2013 11:17 AM ET USA

    I have dabbled into the holybook of Islam and frankly its more boring than the book of Mormon. As for becoming an African, we can al do this by incautiously visiting the dangerous part of town.

  • Posted by: jg23753479 - Nov. 15, 2013 6:57 AM ET USA

    I agree with Bishop Kaigama that Christians should learn about Islam. I am, however, not so sanguine as he about just what conclusions such a study will lead to, nor about whether it is wise or even possible to ''accept'' Islam.