Nigeria: Christians and Muslims set up interfaith peace center at the hub of religious conflicts

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Right at the heart of religious conflicts struck region in Nigeria; Christians and Muslims have set up an interfaith peace center in Kaduna state. In last 30 years, more than 20,000 people have lost lives to religion-based violence and conflicts. The peace center was inaugurated on August 19-which is the sole center of its kind in the country.

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The inaugural ceremony of the International Center for Interfaith Peace and Harmony (ICIPH) in Kaduna was attended by Christians and Muslims. This is a novel interfaith initiative- which was launched with an intention to chalk out interfaith relations for the purpose of policy-making.

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In a statement issued by Rev. Dr. Olav Fykse Tveit, general secretary of the World Council of Churches (WCC) acknowledged that the center would gather Christians and Muslims under one roof. Following the inauguration of the peace center, interfaith peace will be upheld.

“But now Kaduna will be a city known for its witness to inter-religious peace and harmony. This place can be a holy place in a new way, bringing a new vision and a new reality of people of faith living together. The presence of you, the religious leaders of Nigeria, shows the significance of this day and this event for the whole nation.”

Furthermore, Rev. Dr. Olav Fykse Tveit noted that the newly inaugurated peace center will function as a platform for the victims of violence and other atrocities in the region. Local Christians and Muslims hope that this initiative will become a prove to be preventive in order to curb the perpetrators of injustices, while at the same time help chalk out upcoming solutions to the existing religious conflicts and various other problems.