Ethno-Religious Conflicts: The Role of Religious Education in Enhancing Justice and Peace for Muslim-Christian Relations in Kaduna State

Jonathan A Yabiliyok, Fordham University


Kaduna state has been described as a microcosm of Nigeria and as being central to Nigerian politics. This is largely because of the socio-cultural and political influence that it has wielded in pre and post-colonial periods. The religious plurality and ethnic diversity of the state combine in an inextricable way to make the state not only unique but also a hotbed of religious and ethnic conflicts. This has resulted in internecine killings, material destruction, mutual distrust, and acrimony, coupled with a lack of ethnic and religious integration that has produced segregated neighborhoods between members of the two religions. This dissertation examines the role religious education can play in creating intentional spaces for fostering mutual coexistence among Christians and Muslims to bring about peace, reconciliation, tolerance, and understanding. This study proposes that a viable path to restore peaceful and harmonious relationships between Muslims and Christians in Kaduna state would require a robust religious education within and through families, mosques, churches, schools, media, and civil society organizations. The thesis of this research is that an effective religious education that is focused on promoting justice and peace and grounded in a respect for the pluralism of religions is needed to pull Kaduna state from the precipice of disaster. The study argues that in order to foster peace and mutual coexistence, Christians and Muslims must make a commitment to respect religious pluralism. It strives to show how Christians and Muslims can hold a passionate commitment to their own religious beliefs and practices in tension with a sympathetic understanding towards those who belong to a different religion. The researcher also attempts to show how through an adequate religious education, the state can tap into the richness and diversity of its religious life to nurture integral human development and growth. Additionally, the study discusses how religious educators can draw insight from Catholic Social Teaching to foster economic empowerment, respect for religious freedom, good governance, forgiveness, reconciliation, and love among people of various religions.

Subject Area

Religious education

Recommended Citation

Yabiliyok, Jonathan A, "Ethno-Religious Conflicts: The Role of Religious Education in Enhancing Justice and Peace for Muslim-Christian Relations in Kaduna State" (2019). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI13879146.