Shi’ites members attend Christmas Service, advocate unity, harmony among religious groups
Shi’ites, an Islamic group, joined Christians at a Christmas Service at St. Joseph Catholic Church, Samaru, Zaria, Kaduna State on Monday to strengthen religious harmony and unity between religious groups.
Leader of the Shi’ite group, Prof. Isah-Hassan Mshelgaru, said it acknowledged Christmas as a day for festivities, friendliness and unity.
He added that joining Christian faithful as they marked Christmas was meant to renew hope for divine unity among Muslims, Christians and other religions.
Mshelgaru said the visit to the church by the group for Christmas was to strengthen relationship between the two faith groups.
He noted that Islam and Christianity were revered faiths with more than 90 per cent of Nigeria’s population as adherents.
“When other faithful unite with the two faith groups, it means the whole of Nigerian is united,’’ he said.
Speaking on the impact of the visit, Mshelgaru said as a group, it started visits to churches more than 25 years ago and since then there had been improved understanding between the group and Christians.
“The visit has reduced the fears and some animosities between the two faith groups. They (Christians) are now open to us; we share sentiments and problems together.
“The regular exchange of visits has bridged the gaps between us,’’ he said.
Earlier, the parish priest, Most Rev. Isak Augustine, commended the Islamic group for the visit and urged the group for more visits to strengthen religious harmony and unity.
He prayed for the peace of God to come into Nigeria and to salvage the country from myriad socio-economic challenges.
The Shi’ite group later presented gifts to the Catholic Church. (NAN)