Breaking down walls of hatred and suspicion between people of different faiths is a top priority for the Catholic Church in Nigeria, according to Aid to the Church in Need. According to the Catholic charity, which assists in evangelization in the Mideast, Africa and Latin America, in parts of Nigeria meaningful dialogue is fraught with difficulties but elsewhere greater cooperation can be fostered, preventing ill feeling from taking root.
Aid to the Church in Need says it is backing initiatives promoting inter-faith tolerance, such as workshops encouraging lay faithful to develop mutual respect with other religious groups. The workshops in Osun state give participants the chance to develop new skills to make and sustain contact with different faith communities.
Backing the scheme, Bishop Gabriel Abegunrin of Osogbo, explained: "In our region, multi-religious groups live relatively peacefully with one another.
"We wish to sustain this union, so course participants learn the skills needed for inter-religious dialogue and can understand the Church's teaching on this issue."