A Muslim group, popularly called the Shiites, on Saturday attended a Christmas church service at HEKAN Church in Zaria, Kaduna State, as part of an effort to strengthen religious tolerance and peace in the state.
The Muslim group also presented a gift to the church as a sign of love.
Speaking in an interview with newsmen, shortly after the service, the leader of the team, Prof. Isa Mshelgaru said the essence of attending the service was to promote love, tolerance and understanding among Nigerians.
He said: “We decided to attend this church service today because today is Christmas Day, a day that the birth of Jesus Christ is being celebrated over the globe and we feel that we also have our concern to share with them the feelings of the day Jesus was born.
“The coming of Jesus to this world is a blessing to everybody, so we wish that we should come and celebrate this glorious day with them.”
He said that as Muslims they considered Christians as their fellow brothers and sisters in humanity, stressing that they were at the church service to join them in celebrating and sharing the joy of this day with them.
“As they (Christians) attach importance to this day so also we attach so much importance to the day and that is why we came today to clear all the unnecessary imaginary boundaries that have been created between Muslims and Christians.
“This is important now that the country is facing multiple security challenges that require all hands to be on deck in other to overcome them,” he noted.
On his message to other Nigerians, Mshelgaru advised that Nigerians must come together irrespective of religious, tribal or political divide to save the nation.
In his remarks, Pastor Hakila Darmah expressed his appreciation for the visit, adding that it is a milestone that would open a new beginning and would remain a memorable one for a very long time.
He called for a sustained relationship to keep the spirit of brotherhood floating between the two religious.
“In fact, I am so excited that they can think of a thing like this to come and visit us on Christmas Day celebration like this,” he said.
Darmah appealed to Nigerians to emulate the kind gesture of the Shiite group in order to further strengthen tolerance, understanding and brotherliness among Nigerians.