Kristne og muslimer i Nigeria

John Allen er nå i Nigera for å søke etter informasjon til sin neste bok om «Mega-Trends in Catholicism». Forholdet mellom kristne og muslimer er det interesserer ham mest, og han skriver om det på denne siden.

Nigeria er Africas mest folkerike land, med 140 millioner mennesker, og den niende største oljeprodusenten i verden. Blant andre ting vil Nigeria bli et katolsk kraftsentrum i det 21. århundret. It will be the ninth largest Catholic country in the world in 2050, with 47 million members, and because Nigerians speak English, they’re poised to be the «voice» of African Catholicism in the global media culture. …

Uneasy calm punctuated by periods of extreme violence has been the dominant Christian/Muslim storyline here. Some examples:

* Waves of violence in Kaduna in 1987 and 1992 left hundreds dead, and caused an informal religious portioning of the city, with Christians moving to the south side of the river and Muslims to the north.
* Clashes between the predominantly Muslim Fulani tribe and the mostly Christian Taroh tribe from September 2001 to May 2004 are estimated to have cost at least 1,800 lives and some 160,000 cattle. .
* Controversies over the introduction of shariah law in several northern Nigerian states triggered violence that left 1,000 dead in Kaduna in 2000, and 2,000 dead in the northern city of Jos in 2001.
* In the summer 2002, thousands of people died during communal clashes in Plateau state, with an estimated 100,000 people displaced and 88 localities almost entirely destroyed.
* Violence broke out anew in November 2002, related to the international «Miss World» pageant to be held that year in Nigeria. When a local newspaper columnist satirically suggested that Mohammad might have taken a wife from among the contestants, a chain of tit-for-tat attacks broke out that left hundreds dead and dozens of churches and mosques destroyed.
* In 2004, 900 people were killed in Plateau state, including 630 Muslims slaughtered by hundreds of armed Christians in the town of Yelaw-Shenda, followed by 200 Christians killed in Kano by Muslims as a reprisal for this «Yelwa-Shenda massacre.»
* In February 2006, violence broke out in Nigeria as elsewhere as part of the Danish cartoon controversy. More than 150 people were killed after a group of Christians was massacred by angry Muslim militants, triggering several anti-Muslim reprisals.

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