Date of Award
Doctor of Ministry (DMin)
Although Nigeria is a secular state, religion functions there as an expression of political identity and figures prominently in conflicts over resources, land, and political offices. Increasing clashes between religious groups, predominantly Muslim and Christian, have taken the nation from what used to be peaceful coexistence to violent disharmony. In this atmosphere of fear and hate, Christians are called to be peacemakers, building redemptive relationships with Muslims. This dissertation explores practical ways of forging peaceful Christian-Muslim relations. The introductory chapter describes the religious conflict in Nigeria, demonstrating how religious, communal, ethnic, and social divisions degenerated into violence as a result of political mismanagement, corrupt leadership, and exploitation that led to extensive poverty and religious radicalism. Chapter 2 presents a Biblical theology of peacemaking that suggests that Christians can restore good relations with Muslims by crossing religious and ethnic barriers, loving and forgiving those who mistreat them, and working to establish a just political system. The early history and impact of Christianity and Islam in Nigeria are outlined in Chapter 3, and the changes in Christian-Muslim relations from 1914 to the present time are discussed in Chapter 4. The roles of politics, economics, and ethnicity in Nigeria’s religious conflict are also identified. In Chapter 5, three models of reconciliation are examined for their relevance to Nigeria: the post-World War II Nuremberg trials, the Good Friday agreement of Northern Ireland, and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of South Africa. Lessons gleaned from these models are used to formulate a proposal for peacemaking in Nigeria, described in Chapter 6. The elements of the proposal are openness to the theological similarities between Christianity and Islam, forgiveness, amnesty, religious study, and economic development.Chapter 7 summarizes the dissertation and adds some closing remarks.
Obodoagha, Frederick Chukwuma, "Breaking Barriers that Divide Christians and Muslims in Nigeria and Building a Redemptive Relationship" (2015). Doctor of Ministry. 117.