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Foundation calls for religious tolerance


Professor of History, United Lutheran Seminary, USA, Prof. Jon Paul (left); founder, CTEM & Initiator, Partnership From New Nigeria (PFANN), Dr. Elishama Rose Mary Ideh; Chief Imam, University of Lagos (UNILAG), Prof. Murtala Bidmos; President, Wisdom Chapel, Akowonjo, Lagos, Bishop (Dr.), Steven Ogedengbe at the fourth International Conference on Love & Tolerance organised by UFUK Dialogue Foundation in Lagos.

UFUK Dialogue, a foundation focused on dialogue and peace activities in academics and intellectual levels for the education of different members of the society, has charged Christians and Muslims on love and tolerance.

It stated this during its fourth International Conference on Love and Tolerance held in at NECA House, Ikeja in Lagos with the theme: “Countering Violent Extremism.”

UFUK Dialogue aims to be one of the most active and effective foundations in Nigeria on issues relating to peace and conflict resolutions strategies and by contributing peace through Dialogue, creating a platform for coexistence of cultures, mutual understanding of different societies and adherents of different faiths and ethnicity.

“UFUK Dialogue serves to stand by societal peace, love, respect and compassion in support of human dignity and the greater good by striving to preserve the common values of humanity, values such as respect, tolerance, peace and mutual understating.

“With our programs the foundation involves the participation of hundreds and thousands local and global individuals who seek to promote and Dialogue in the world”.

Keynote speaker Jon Paul, a professor of history, United Lutheran Seminary, USA presented a lecture on: “Do Strong Men Rule The World”, while displaying graphic pictures of the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, Erdoga of Turkey, Kim Jong of north korea and the United states president, Donald Trump.

He noted: “religion can’t be separated from tribe, I will offer to you an alternative point of view, the way of the future is deep peace. Deep peace is equal to trust, therefore deep peace is the confidence to trust another person. Our religion has a power that no one can stop”.

Moderator of the panel discussion, Bishop Steven Ogedengbe in his address said: “China has a population of 1.6 billion with 6 religions, yet there’s so much tolerance among them. We practice a religion of distraction, lets lookout for people of competency than religious people”.

Another panelist, Dr. (Mrs.) Elishama Ideh spoke on behaviour, background, belief and environment amongst others as factors responsible for intolerance, but mainly blamed the problem on religious intolerance.

“Lack of tolerance results to being an advocate of religious intolerance, which leads to hatred and snowball into violence. If we all see ourselves as one, Christians and Muslims will be able to see the enemy who want to divide us.

“Towards countering violent extremism, patience, equity, fairness, justice among others is required for Nigeria to receive the peace its soul desires”, she added.

Also, a panelist, Professor Murtala Aderemi Bidmos of University of Lagos narrated that we need accommodation not tolerance, because muslims and Christians always engage in accusation and counter accusation.
“Peace and comfort is basic while violence and intolerance is self imposed. We must learn to keep our hearts clean. Lets stop talking about violence and terrorism, rather we check the root cause.

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