Members of Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), popularly called Shiites on Friday attended a Christmas Church service at Evangelical Redeemed Church of Christ (ERCC), Samaru, Zaria, Kaduna State.
Speaking shortly to journalists after the service, the leader of the team, Prof. Isa Hassan-Mshelgaru said the essence of attending the service was to promote love, tolerance, and understanding among Nigerians.
He said: “Well, we decided to attend this Church service today because today is Christmas Day, a day that the birth of Jesus is being celebrated and we feel that we also have our concern to share with them the feelings of the day Jesus was born.
“Because, coming of Jesus to this world is a blessing to everybody, so, we wish that we should come and celebrate this glorious day with them.”
The team leader explained that IMN considered Christians as their fellow brothers and sisters, however, adding that they din’t have anything to give them than to come and celebrate the day with them.
“As they consider this day very important, we also consider it very important, we feel that we should come and visit them so that to clear some of the unnecessary imaginary boundaries that have been created.
“There are some imaginary boundaries that could not be seen that kept us far away from each other, so, we want to breach this gap, so that we come together as brothers and sisters living in the same country and same locality,” he noted.
On his message to other Nigerians, Hassan-Mshelgaru advised that Nigerians must come together irrespective of religious, tribal or political divide to solve the nation at the verge of crises.
“Our coming together is the only solution to all kinds of crisis happening all over Nigeria, we must unit under one umbrella and face the problems affecting our collective growth and development.
“We must come together whether you are a Muslim, a Christian or whatever this concerns everybody, so that collectively we face our problems and challenges together,” he advised.
On his part, the overseer of the Church, Rev. Otso Stephen appreciated the El-Zakzaky group for what he described as a welcomed and memorable visit.
He appealed to them to keep the relationship afloat wit a view to building a strong bond of relationship between the two religions.
“In fact, I am so exited that they can think of a thing like this to come and visit us on Christmas Day celebration like this,” he said.
Stephen appealed to Nigerians to emulate the kind gesture of IMN to further strengthen tolerance, understanding and brotherliness among Nigerians.
Earlier in his sermon, the overseer called on the worshippers to endeavour to respect all COVID-19 protocols as directed by the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).
He encouraged them to always wear face masks, observe social distancing, maintain regular hand wash and avoid large gathering or over crowd among others.
The visitors presented a gift to the Church as a sign of love.