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Catholic Bishop in Nigeria Urges Muslims, Christians to Reflect on Peace on “Eid al-Adha”

Bishop Emmanuel Badejo of Nigeria's Oyo Diocese. Credit: Courtesy Photo

Muslims and Christians in Nigeria have been urged to reflect on the need for peace and peaceful coexistence during Eid al-Adha, the annual Islamic celebration to be marked in the West African nation and other countries around the world this year on Tuesday, July 20.

Translated from Arabic as “Feast of Sacrifice”, Eid al-Adha that is also known as “Eid el Kabir” is a significant holiday on the Islamic calendar that marks the willingness of Prophet Abraham to sacrifice his son, Ishmael, on Mt. Moriah, in obedience to Allah, God.

In his message shared with ACI Africa Monday, July 19 ahead of this year’s celebration, Bishop Emmanuel Badejo of Nigeria’s Oyo Diocese says, "Our beloved country needs all of us and we all have a part to play in the success of Nigeria as a nation. I humbly urge us to use this medium to reflect on our common need for peaceful coexistence, good governance and youth empowerment,"

Bishop Badejo calls upon citizens of Africa’s most populous nation "to combat all forms of prejudices, fake news, hate speech and religious fanaticism and join hands with our leaders in making Nigeria work for all of us."

“Eid el Kabir is a festival of great sacrifice to Allah, which must reflect in our loving sacrifice to one another, especially those who do not share our beliefs and language,” he further says in his message dated July 15.

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The Local Ordinary of Oyo Diocese who doubles as the President of the Pan African Episcopal Committee for Social Communications (CEPACS) goes on to commiserate with Muslims who were impeded from going for the annual pilgrimage to Mecca in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia amid the coronavirus pandemic. 

"We feel for those who missed the obligation of going to Hajj due to Covid-19 pandemic, and we pray that next year will be better. Amen,” Bishop Badejo says.

This year, the Saudi government limited the number of pilgrims to only 60,000 nationals and residents of the Kingdom due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

In his message, the Nigerian Bishop goes on to express gratitude to God for the unity among Muslims and Christians in Oyo Diocese. 

"We thank God for all that we have been able to achieve together in Oyo diocese and Oyo State," he says, and adds, "We also pray for more peace and progress in the years ahead." 

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The Nigerian Bishop who turned 60 last week, on July 13, also expresses his willingness to continue collaborating with the Muslim fraternity in matters of common interest saying, "As always, we are open to programs of mutual enrichment and dialogue of peaceful coexistence with you all."

"On behalf of the entire Catholic Diocese of Oyo, may I congratulate you, dear Muslim brothers and sisters as you celebrate another holy feast of sacrifice, Eid el Kabir," Badejo Badejo says in the message he co-signed with the Director of Inter-religious dialogue in Oyo Diocese, Fr. Joseph Ogundipe.

He adds, "May we live to celebrate more of this and may every one of us, Muslim and Christian alike continue to uphold our obedience to Allah in the spirit of forgiveness and true love for one another. Amen."