Religion and violence in Nigeria: The way forward
AbstractMost riots with religious undertones in Nigeria have involved the violent destruction of innocent lives and property. This is found mostly between Christians and Muslims. The question one may want to ask is, is there any justification whatsoever in resorting to violence in the name of religion?”. Or put differently, “Does either Christianity or Islam approve of violence with its attendant social and economic problems in the name of religion”? Since this menace seems to be ever present with us and cannot be wished away with the wave of the hand, the researchers feel that it is very pertinent to take a closer look at the violence that has come to characterize Christian – Muslim relations in Nigeria, examine their root causes and suggest the way forward from this bane of our Nigerian Society. This study is relevant at this stage of our national development because of the negative impact of violence on the lives of the citizenry. This impact is further heightened by the fact that Nigeria is surrounded by neighbours with appreciable population of Christians and Muslims, yet we rarely hear of violent clashes between them especially on religious grounds leading to regrettable casualties. It is hoped that this study will contribute not only to a better understanding between Christians and Muslims but even between other religious practitioners in Nigeria.
Sophia: An African Journal of Philosophy Vol. 8(1) 2005:98-105