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Posted by on Wednesday February 10, 2016 at 8:12:58:

As a Catholic, I had attended an Ash Wednesday mass in church and returned home after which I met with a Muslim friend of mine who has been trying for long to convert me. For those who don't know, Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the Lenten season in the Catholic church and it is also the beginning of the annual 40 days fasting which precedes the Easter celebration for Catholics around the world. As a Nigerian Catholic, I had a duty to attend a church service which we call mass and it's centered around the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross and the last supper.

So, when I met my Muslim friend with whom I regularly engage in a civil religious dialogue with, he told me that this ash we receive on our foreheads is something everyone including Muslims will also receive at an appointed time but it will be different for both religions. He reminded me again that Christianity was not the way and that Mohammed's path was the new and best way. I normally don't like keeping quiet when he starts preaching to me and so, I felt I had a duty to also respond back to him to tell him what I really believe.

In Nigeria, it's normal for Christians and Muslims to interact with each other as the country contains a mixture of people who adhere to both religions faithfully. While there are more Muslims in Northern Nigeria than Christians, there are more Christians in southern Nigeria than Muslims and so, it's normal for them to engage in religious dialogue but the truth is that none of them will agree to be converted except in exceptional cases.

So, when my Muslim friend started to rant about Mohammed and his religion, I asked him whether he thought that Mohammed was greater than Jesus Christ. I asked him if it was proper for me to leave Jesus who I regarded as "God pikin" and start following Mohammed and we kept on talking for a while until he got tired of preaching to me. I call him my friend because we agree on a lot of things except on religion. It is very hard for a Nigerian Christian to convert a Muslim and vice versa but one common thing they both tend to do is argue about which way or religion is better even though they both claim that they believe in one God.

As a Nigerian Catholic and Christian, when a Muslim starts to tell me that Mohammed's way is better than the way of Jesus, it seems a bit insulting to me because I regard Jesus as being greater than Mohammed but Muslims think otherwise. A Nigerian Muslim only annoys a fellow Christian when he starts telling him that Mohammed is greater than Jesus and the same goes for a Christian who tries to tell a Muslim the reverse.

The bottom line is that a true Christian will never believe that Mohammed is greater than Jesus and a true Muslim will also not think that Jesus is greater than Mohammed no matter how hard they try to convince each other.

However, no matter how extreme an argument or religious dialogue goes between Christians and Muslims, it should never resort to violence as some people do by claiming to kill people in the name of God and that's why I normally prefer to talk religion only with Muslims who are civilized and not the barbaric ones.

If God wanted a person dead because he preached a false message, he can do so himself and so people should stop killing or attacking people violently in the name of religion even if the person says that one prophet is greater than the other.

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