Thursday, October 30, 2008

'Imam and pastor unite for message of peace, tolerance'

Imam Muhammed Ashafa and Pastor James Wuye are visiting Melbourne from Nigeria, to share about how they used to be militia leaders who wanted to kill each other, and are now close friends.

Pastor James Wuye lost most of his right forearm to a machete attack, and Imam Muhammed Ashafa lost family and a spiritual adviser before they met and to their surprise discovered common ground and eventually trust.
Their journey sparked the establishment of a body called the Muslim-Christian Dialogue Centre in the religiously divided city of Kaduna in predominantly Muslim northern Nigeria.
However, even the name became contentious, as Pastor Wuye recalls: "Some Christians objected that we had the Muslim name first. I told them the order did not matter."
Eventually the organisation reached out to a growing Nigerian Jewish population, as well as people of traditional animist beliefs, and evolved into the Interfaith Mediation Centre.
Read the Age article here.
(There is a documentary film about Imam Muhammed Ashafa and Pastor James Wuye, called The Imam and the Pastor.

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