John Cardinal Onaiyekan, Catholic Archbishop of Abuja, spoke to the Vatican Radio about the mindless slaughter of about 50 innocent students in Yobe early this week by the Boko haram terrorist group.
Onaiyekan, who is currently in Rome for a Peace Conference shared his thoughts about the Boko haram insurgency. He also expressed his desire for inter-religious dialogue towards the path to peace. The Cardinal emphasised that:
“As far as dialogue among religions is concerned, in view of peace, I want to say two things.
The first is that there has been a poor historical record of relations between Christians and Muslims. Our religions have been used in the past centuries for wars. It is necessary to say it loud and clear: we are now in a new era. Vatican II already moved in this direction. We thank God for Vatican II, but unfortunately it was a Catholic Council, the Muslims were not there. Those Muslims who agree with the Pope should not simply agree with the Pope for having said a nice thing. They should actually go out themselves and say it loud and clear to those whom they lead, because this is where we should be going. We know too that if Christians and Muslims agreed on this, world peace would be easier to achieve.
There is a second point that we need to make: we have seen the efforts of humanity to install peace in the world, but something is missing – namely, a spiritual dimension. Religious leaders have to come in at the highest level of world peace making. […] If the international community gave a little bit of support to encourage religious leaders all over the world, wherever there are crises, to meet the belligerents, I think a lot of progress would be made.”
Listen to the full interview here.