Dear Esteemed Colleagues:
Christians and Muslims are uniting in Nigeria to reject the violence advanced by the terrorist group, Boko Haram. Last Friday (30 January 2012), this violent group killed at least 184 people and raised the specter of an escalating spiral of violence. Yesterday, police found large numbers of explosives, including ten cars packed with explosives, linked to the group. It is the shared view of many Nigerian Muslims and Christians that Boko Haram grossly distorts the Islamic religion by claiming it as a justification for its violent terrorism.
When terror is intentionally being used to foment fear, mistrust and hostility between religious groups, we are all especially in need of principled multi-religious leadership.
In that light, I am pleased to share that His Grace John Onaiyekan, the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Abuja, Nigeria, and a Religions for Peace International Co-President and Co-Moderator of Religions for Peace Africa, has joined with his Nigerian Muslim colleagues, to advance a united front of Muslims and Christians demanding the rejection of violence.
This is the kind of courageous leadership we all need. Religions for Peace is proud of our Nigeria Muslim and Christian colleagues who are working together against the tide of terrorism to advance peace.
You would, I felt, appreciate Archbishop John’s note and recent speeches as an example of the wise and courageous leadership needed. I will also be sharing the speeches of our wonderful Islamic partners as these become available.
In solidarity for peace, I remain
Dr. William F. Vendley
A letter from His Grace Rev. Dr. John Onaiyekan
A Pastoral Message to all the People of God of the Catholic Archiocese of Abuja
Opening Remark by His Grace Rev. Dr. John Onaiyekan at Abuja Interfaith Peace Building Forum