In response to this truth and God’s call upon us, World Renew continues to holistically empower the poor and vulnerable; facilitate healing for the broken-hearted; promote justice, peace, and reconciliation; support healthy living; help disaster survivors and communities; and improve food security. We do this all as we await a new heaven and a new earth, a time when, as it says in Revelation 21, God will dwell with His people and wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things will pass away.
“Therefore, since through God’s mercy we have this ministry, we do not lose heart. But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.” 2 Corinthians 4:1,7-9 NIV
Wukari Peacebuilding Consultation
Terrorism and extremists have in the past decade fueled Christian and Muslim conflict in Nigeria, a country of over 180 million with great potential to impact all of Africa and beyond. This worrisome development is undermining meaningful spiritual, economic, agricultural, social, educational, and political development. Hatred and animosity have resulted in destruction of property, massive displacement of people from their homes, and killing. The Wukari peacebuilding consultation is an effort aimed at restoring peace in one of the several places in Nigeria in urgent need of sustainable peace following violence due to terror and extremism.
In September of this year, the second Wukari peacebuilding consultation was successfully held in Makurdi. The consultation was attended by Christian and Muslim religious leaders, as well as traditional, political, and local government officials, with the aim of transforming four years of bloody and destructive conflict in Wukari and its environs into a lasting peace.
Participants acknowledged the value of peace and the dangers of violence and stated that “no one will build peace for us. We must own the process for ourselves, our children, and grandchildren to know real peace.” A prominent religious leader said, “I am filled with joy to be here. Peace has found a stool to sit on. Our prayer is that everyone here will leave with a gift to take home to give to our people.” Another participant who was shot in the stomach during the Wukari conflict four years ago said “I said and did things in anger and pain that I am now sorry for. Now I must forgive and work for peace.”
We thank God for the support of this event by CRCNA agencies World Renew, Resonate Global Mission, and the Office of Social Justice; an individual donor in North America; and Hizkias Assefa, who was our facilitator.
The peacebuilding consultation produced this agreement on important steps forward for sustainable peace in Wukari and its environs:
- Christian and Muslim representatives at the consultation agreed to advocate for a political power-sharing arrangement that fairly represents all religions in the Wukari area, noting that this would take time and education but is very necessary.
- The Muslim Council and the Christian Association representatives in Wukari would initiate a joint effort to end inflammatory preaching in mosques and churches and to identify and resist outside preachers who come to incite and divide.
- Traditional leaders, as well as representatives of both the Muslim Council and the Christian Association representatives in Wukari, would build a mechanism to encourage the return of persons displaced by the conflicts and, as much as is practical, assist them to rebuild destroyed properties and ensure their safety.
World Renew Nigeria