The primary goal of this 2-day course organized by The Kukah Centre is to prepare select Christian leaders (mostly Clerics) from Yobe, Gombe and Kano States to participate effectively in an interfaith training course with select Muslim Leaders from the same states scheduled for May 16- 20, 2017 in Minna, Niger State.

  • The Key objectives of the Christian leaders Training Course include
  •  To build relationships of trust among Christian denominations
  •  To understand the local challenges affecting both Christian and Muslim Communities and develop strategies to deal with them
  •  To understand Christian narratives and counter narratives on critical issues like extremism and hate within Christendom, self-defence in the face of violent extremism, the notion of social gospel and how issues of social justice and exclusion foster divisions and extremism etc.
  •  To understand principles and practices of Peace-building and Interfaith dialogue
  •  To understand the role of clerics and Christian leaders in community mobilization etc.

Selected Topics for Facilitation

1. Extremism and Hate within Christendom: Local and Global Contexts- by Rev. Dr. Israel Akanji- Methodist Cleric and Chairman, Christian Association of Nigeria, FCT

The presentation will address, among other things, the historical and contemporary manifestations of extremism and propagation of hate within the Christian faith (violent or otherwise), and their implications for the gospel of love even in the face of violent persecution as well as strategies to counter them etc.  Key questions to be addressed include- how do Christian narratives of hate sometimes couched as self-defence foster hostility and violence? Are such narratives justified? What should be the appropriate Christian response to hate and violent extremism?

2. Interfaith dialogue in theory and practice- by Fr.  Dominic Adeiza (Lux Terra Foundation)

The presentation will cover various perspectives on interfaith dialogue (in theory and practice); understanding Islamic sects and their relative predisposition to violence; commonalities and differences between Islam and Christianity, particularly the major fault lines; how to engage Islamic clerics and Muslims in dialogue etc.)

3. Christianity, Governance and Development- The presentation will, among other things, interrogate the notion of social gospel, particularly in the Nigerian context and what roles clerics/churches should play in fostering economic, social, environmental and other forms of justice to ensure the common good of all. How do Nigeria’s endemic governance challenges and the exclusions and inequalities they engender foster hate and extremism and make interfaith outreach even more difficult?

4. Experience sharing on interfaith engagement at the state and community levels (participants will be given ample time to reflect on their experiences with interfaith dialogue in their communities with a view to better understanding the challenges and the possibilities of such efforts in particular the lessons learned and identifying successful models to replicate).

NB: Each presentation will be followed by extensive discussion by participants including a Question and Answer session.

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