Members of the Shiite Islamic sect attended a Christmas church service on Sunday at one of the largest denominations in Zaria, Kaduna State, as a sign of love and efforts to strengthen religious tolerance in the state.
The prayer session was held at the Church of Brethren in Nigeria (Ekkelisiyar `Yan Uwa Ta Nigeria (EYN), Samaru, Sabon Gari, Zaria.
The group also presented a gift to the church to further strengthen religious tolerance between the two faiths.
Speaking to journalists after the service, the leader of the team, Isah Mshelgaru, said they were at the church to rejoice with Christians on the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ.
He added that the visit was to rekindle and cement the existing relationship between the two faiths.
“Islam says if someone is not your brother in faith, he is your brother in humanity and we share this humanity with everybody, either Muslim, Christian or whatever,’’ 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.
Mr Mshelgaru said that as Muslims, they consider Christians as their fellow brothers and sisters in humanity, stressing that they are at the church service to join them in celebrating and sharing the joy of this day with them.
Thanking them for the visit, Tijjani Chindo, the Resident Pastor, EYN Church, Samaru, Zaria, noted that the church received the Muslims with joy and appealed for the replication of the gesture across the country.
He added that the purpose of the coming of Jesus Christ was to salvage humanity (without segregation) from the bondage of sin.
“We are all one, as the Lord has told us to love one another and extend the good tidings of salvation which Christ has brought to the world.
“He (Christ) has come in a humble way; we are celebrating his coming in a humble way, we are not differentiating ourselves from Muslims. Today we are celebrating the good news that the Lord has come,’’ he said.
At every Christmas, the Shiite Muslim group visits Christian communities in Zaria to rejoice with them which has been a yearly ritual between the two religions in Zaria.