During the last week of August, thousands of people descend on the Italian resort
town of Rimini for the Rimini Meeting, sponsored by the lay movement Communion & Liberation.
Leaders in religion, politics, and culture come together to discuss the issues of
the day. This year’s Meeting theme is “By nature, Man is relation to the infinite.”
One of the speakers is the Archbishop of Jos, Ignatius Kaigama, who spoke to us about
the current spate of violence in Nigeria.
“There is not neat division between
political problems and religious problems. They are intertwined,” he said.
it is erroneous to always reduce every crisis in Nigeria to religion. Religion does
a lot of good, we shouldn’t see it as always generating crisis. There are social
issues, economic-political issues, problems of young people that often trigger these
crises, but somehow eventually they always become Christian-Muslim crises. I always
insist we should make a separation, a distinction. Yes, there are religious interests,
but they are not responsible for all the crises. Sometimes, we don’t go far enough
to find out the root causes. I admit there are religious problems. There is high
religious tension in Nigeria, but we are not at war between Christians and Muslims.
The Boko Haram is at war with Christians, because they have vowed they will kill Christians
because they are infidels. This is a fact, but it is not the whole Islamic community.”