The Catholic Archbishop of Abuja, the Most Rev. John Onaiyekan, has called for greater inter-faith cooperation between Muslims and Christians to foster peace and unity in the country.
Onaiyekan made the call yesterday in Abuja at the Al-Habibiyyah Mosque at Guzampe, where he visited with a team of Catholic clerics for the breaking of fast (iftar) with Muslim faithful.
The archbishop, who arrived at the mosque in the same bus with some members of Al-Habibiyyah Society, told reporters he was at the place of worship at the invitation of his friend, Imam Fuad Adeyemi.
“We have been talking a lot about building good relationships between Christians and Muslims in the country.
“But we have to go beyond talking and take certain good gestures to underline the fact that we believe what we are saying.
“I came along with my reverend father who is in charge of youths and the reverend sister leading our initiative on Muslim-Christian women; so we are very happy to be here.
Onaiyekan, a former President, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), stressed the need for peaceful co-existence between adherents of the two religions, adding: “We are all worshipping one God.’’
“We are already inviting the youth together and I will invite the Imam (Adeyemi) to some to our functions and I know he will attend.
The NAN reports that the archbishop later presented some gifts to the mosque in addition to an undisclosed cash donation.
He also addressed the Muslim faithful in the Mosque, expressing his profound thanks and gratitude for the invitation extended to the leadership of the Catholic Church in Abuja.
On the significance of Ramadan, Adeyemi, who is the Director of Al-Habibiyyah Society, told reporters that it was time “peace, harmony and new relationships are established and sustained worldwide’’.
“These are the things that we are trying to establish, especially when our religion has been misunderstood and misrepresented.
“We are trying to let people know that the real essence of Islam is to ensure unity and peace wherever people may find themselves. ’’