Ghana's Christian-Muslim conflict a foreign war, says religious studies head

The conflict between Christians and Muslims in Ghana is a foreign war that must be addressed through constant dialogue, according to the Head of the Department of Religious Studies at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology.

(REUTERS / Francis Kokoroko)A family prays at St. Mary's Sanctuary, built by the Catholic Church but visited by Christians from all denominations, in Kumasi, Ghana on Jan. 8, 2017.

During the inauguration of the Wa Christian-Muslim Relations and Dialogue Committee held in Wa, KNUST's Head of the Department of Religious Studies Rev. Dr. Nathan Iddrisu Samwini said neither Christianity nor Islam could by themselves result in world peace. For this reason, he said constant dialogue between the two communities is needed so that they could co-exist peacefully, Ghana News Agency relayed.

"We have our own problems and must not fight Arab and American wars here in Ghana; let them have their problems; and let us worry about our own problems and not engage ourselves in fighting foreign wars," said Rev. Dr. Samwini. "Let no one think that one day he/she will wake up to find the end of Christianity or Islam."

Fr. Aloysius Nuolabong, the coordinator for Christian-Muslim Dialogue, said the main issues being faced by the two religious communities include intermarriage, political sermons and students who are forced to study other religions in school. He noted that Christians make up 71.2 percent of Ghana's population, while Muslims comprise only 17.6 percent.

Last month, Ghana's National Peace Council chairman Rev. Prof. Emmanuel Asante spoke at a symposium for the 2017 International Peace Day celebration and urged citizens to respect all people regardless of their religion, education, tribe, age, and views so that peace and security will reign in their country. He also condemned the recent violence between Fulani cattle herders and Konkombas which left 13 dead in the Kintampo North Municipality, Graphic Online reported.

In addition, Rev. Asante voiced out concern over the political clashes at Sankore in the Asunafo South District. The Brong Ahafo Region has once been the country's most peaceful area, but political conflicts and issues concerning chieftaincy have become a threat to its peace and security.