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K.M. Kakto: Bringing Peace Among the People in Bauchi State, Nigeria

Rev Kato Receives an Ambassador for Peace Award

There are good, peace-loving people in our society. Many people will think, "Why does Christianity want to overcome the Islamic faith?" or "Why is the Islamic faith oppressing the Christians?" But one needs to understand more deeply. For example, a pastor will claim he was abused by some people of the Muslim faith because he wants to get material things or he wants to get the support of Christians. An imam will go around his own community abusing the Christian faith. These actions are all about gaining popularity and material things, hoping some people might come and say "Aha, you are a hero, you are a hero,” and follow him.

Now we try let people know that religion is a personal affair. When there is peace in the community and within the people, you can practice your religion Rev Kennedy Masau Katowithout any problem. But when there is trouble all over, people don’t have time to go to the church or to the mosque. In some northern states, there is a curfew that keeps people from going to some prayers at the mosque or some church services.

In the community where Hon. Salisu Ahmed Bara u, Commissioner of the Ministry of Religious Affairs and Community Relations in Bauchi State, comes from, there had been no peace for 57 years. But the government asked us to do this peace work together, and there is now at least relative peace. Some of the people people who had abandoned those areas have now gone back. They have built their houses and are there to stay, except for one other place that we are working on now.

That is the importance of agreeing with people of other faiths to work together for a just peace.

We are going back to hold a workshop for the Muslims and the Christians to discuss about peace. In these ways we are trying to make peace among the people.

Comments made during the June 2013 visit of a UPF-Nigeria delegation to London, which included attending the June 4 Africa Day commemoration in the House of Lords. In the top photo, Rev. Kennedy Masau Kakto is appointed Ambassador for Peace at the London UPF headquarters.