Niger’s Muslims and Christians join forces for peace

957069-NIGERIA-1442292319-728-640x480NIAMEY: Eight months after Muslims rioted in Niger at a cost of 10 lives and many burned churches, efforts are afoot to mend ties with the Christian minority in the west African country.

The rampage was triggered in January when radical Muslims angered by caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)in French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo killed 12 people in an assault on the magazine’s Paris offices.

In Niger, hundreds of Muslims took to the streets, clashing with police and razing 45 churches, five hotels, as well as bars and schools run by Christians. The French cultural centre in the second city, Zinder, was also set alight.

Read: Nigeria shuts down churches over noisy worship

Muslims make up about 98 percent of the 17 million population in the deeply poor, landlocked nation south of the Sahara. Until the riots, they lived in peace with the small Christian minority.

However, the threat of armed militant activity is present both in the north, where Niger is prey to al Qaeda-linked groups in the desert, and the south, which has been attacked by Boko Haram fundamentalists from neighbouring Nigeria.

Leaders of both faiths have been striving to restore strong community bonds by means of an inter-religious dialogue backed by a plan to “renew the value of living together” (REVE) funded by the European Union.

FULL ARTICLE FROM THE EXPRESS TRIBUNE 

Advertisements

One thought on “Niger’s Muslims and Christians join forces for peace

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s