Catholic Church builds mosque for internally displaced Muslims

The Catholic Church has built a mosque for internally displaced Muslims at a camp in Yola, northeastern Nigeria.

The Bishop of Yola’s Catholic Diocese, Stephen Mamza, says since 2014 the Diocese has helped care for the displaced victims of Boko Haram insurgency who ran to Yola for refuge.

Mamza says Church authorities didn’t ask what religion or denomination the people were when they sought refuge at St Teresa’s Cathedral.

Up to 3,000 people have lived on the Church premises since then, although most have now returned to their original homes.

There are others who are still at the camp, however, because of continuing threats from Boko Haram.

The mosque, along with a new church and school, has been incorporated into a housing estate for the 86 families still at the camp.

Mamza says there are about 10 to 12 Muslim families in the camp.

He says it seems to him that if houses are provided for everyone, along with a church for the Christians, that they also provide a space of worship for the internally displaced Muslims.

The means to build the mosque came through the support of Missio in Germany, Mamza says.

At the new Sangere-Marghi Housing Estate’s official opening on Tuesday this week, the Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Bishop Matthew Kukah, challenged Nigeria’s Northern Governors to address religious uprising in the region.

Kukah told Governor Ahmadu Fintiri of Adamawa State that when he and his colleagues meet, he should remind them to guide and lead the religious leaders on how to dispense with religious intolerance in the region.

“They should not only be talking about dialogue with Bishops, Imams and Emirs sitting together and taking photographs and drinking tea as there are needs for concrete manifestation of ideas between one another.

“If the spirit of Islam and Christianity exist in Nigeria actually between members of the two Faiths, we will not be fighting, shedding as much blood as we are seeing today.”

Kukah also called on the internally displaced people not to regard themselves as refugees, but to abide by the teachings and practices of their religions while in the estate.


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