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Catholic Church In Yola Built A Mosque For Muslims - Bishop Mamza - Religion - Nairaland

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Catholic Church In Yola Built A Mosque For Muslims - Bishop Mamza by SandraJane: 10:21am On Apr 11
Why Yola Catholic church built mosque for Muslim IDPs – Bishop Mamza

In this interview with HINDI LIVINUS, fiery Bishop, Catholic Diocese of Yola, Revd. Fr. Stephen Mamza, speaks on the state of the nation.

You are approaching your 25th year espiscopal ordination, as a Catholic Priest, 10 out of which you are celebrating as a Bishop. How has it been?

Well, thanks be to God that I have had the opportunity of serving in the church for 25 years. The Lord has been sustaining me. He has been very gracious to me. It has not been by my own strength or by my own power, but by the power of God that has been doing everything I did. I can say nothing but thanks to God.

You would be inaugurating an 86-unit housing estate built for the victims of insurgency to commemorate your 25th anniversary as a priest. Why is this important to you?

As you know, since 2014 the Catholic Diocese of Yola, has been involved in taking care of displaced victims of insurgency – those displaced from southern Borno and also northern Adamawa, who ran into Yola for refuge. So, the church opened its doors so that these people can put up. At a certain stage we had over 3,000 people living on our church premises. Most of them returned to their original homes after the military reclaimed their homes. But again, there are those who still face threat of insurgency, especially those living at the border of Sambisa forest and cannot go back to their homes because of the activities of Boko Haram since 2014. These people have been at the camp that we set up for IDPs at St. Theresa Cathedral. So, we thought of what we could do to improve their living standards. Because we were becoming weary of taking care of them and even for our donors fatigue was setting in. And the IDP themselves were getting tired of staying in the camp – it is not easy for anyone to live for seven years in a small tent in a camp with children. So, I thought of building a place where the IDPs could be resettled. And thanks be to God, through the support of Mesio in Germany, we started last year in January the construction of 86 units of houses to be built for the 86 families still in our camp. On the housing estate, we built a church and a mosque and a school for the IDPs, which will soon be inaugurated. Already some of the IDPs have been moved into the estate.

You have faced criticism from your fellow Christians for building a mosque for Muslim IDPs. How did you handle the opposition?

In the first place, when we played host to these IDPs, we did not discriminate against any one of them. We didn’t ask what religion the IDPs belong to; we didn’t ask for their church denomination; we just treated them as human beings who are in need of help, irrespective of their religion, denomination or tribe. Majority of the IDPs who thronged our camp were Christians but there was also a large number of Muslims among them. And if we were able to build houses for all of them, and also built a church for the Christians among them, then it is only a matter of justice and fairness that we also provide a space of worship for the few Muslims among them. There are about 10 to 12 Muslim families in the camp. I just felt that since we didn’t leave out the Muslims while providing food for the Christians or leave the Muslims out while building houses for the Christians, it is only just that we also build a mosque for the Muslims as we built a church for Christians. It is not something that is commonly done; it is not something that we have heard of being done, especially in our country, Nigeria, where everybody is conscious about their own religion.

What do your parishioners think about it?

Even from within, people did not see it as a good gesture, at all. But it is normal; I can also understand them. Some of them even pointed out that the Boko Haram insurgents are Muslims and they have caused a lot of the havoc for us; they ask, “Why should we even go ahead and build a mosque for them?” But I say, “Well, not all the Muslims are Boko Haram (members), not all of them (Muslims) are evil. Those that I know, that we have been living together and taking care of them for the past seven years, I know them to be good. So, there should be no reason why I should discriminate against them. I think that is the reason we built the mosque. People even ask, “Why should you, a Christian, build a mosque?” And my response to them is that, “I am a Christian, a pastor, a bishop and a priest, I shouldn’t deny anybody their right to worship.” I think that is the clear message I actually want to pass across. Religion is a matter of choice. One can choose to practise this religion today, and can equally choose to practise another religion tomorrow. People should not be compelled into the practice of any particular religion against their will. If as a Christian you decide to change to Islam, that’s your own choice, you should be allowed to do so.

Also, if as a Muslim you decide that Christianity is better for you, you should be allowed to practise the faith of your choice. Nobody should be threatened or forced. If a Christian chooses to become a Muslim, that Christian shouldn’t be threatened. Same way, if a Muslim decides to become a Christian, that Muslim shouldn’t be threatened. That is what freedom of worship guarantees under our constitution, since it is a secular state that allows and tolerates freedom of worship.

What is your thought on the hijab crisis in Kwara State?

The root cause of the crisis in Kwara State is no other person than the state governor. If the governor had intervened right at the onset of the crisis, perhaps we wouldn’t witness the crisis, but he didn’t. He was quiet. He didn’t say anything, and later he ordered the schools reopened without addressing the concerns agitating the owners of the mission schools. The governor did not handle the hijab matter in a mature manner. Should anything happen in Kwara, he should be held responsible, because he has shown bad leadership.

If you actually look at the happenings in Kwara critically, you will see that the Christians in Kwara State, for quite a very long time, have been marginalised. And it is not only in Kwara State; it is the same in a lot of places, particularly in the North, where generally Christians are marginalised. That is what we are talking about; there should be freedom of religion. Let it be that as people are free to join any political party, so they should be free to join any religion that they love. It should be a matter of choice. No one should compel you and people should not use government resources to promote their religion, which is what is happening in Kwara State, just as in many states in the North, where governors use public funds to promote their religion, while other religions are neglected. There are so many places where it is almost impossible to get land to build a church, not to even to talk of getting a Certificate of Occupancy. So, there is serious, marginalisation taking place in Nigeria on the basis of religion.

As a priest have you been worried about the separatist agitations as well as insecurity in the country?

I am always worried because I don’t know where we are heading to. I will continue to be worried until we get solutions to the problems that we face. Our political leaders don’t seem to care; they don’t seem to be bothered, they are only concerned about their political careers. Despite the level of insecurity that is plaguing the country, the political class appears to be mute, their only concern is 2023 elections. Their concern is not about human lives, people being abducted, the mass killings take place or the destruction of properties. They don’t even bother, they are fixated on 2023.

In your Easter homily last year, you accused the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), of sleeping on duty as Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces. Will you say you have been vindicated by the state of security in the country?

Everybody knows we are in a country that seems as if it has no leadership. This is the feeling that everyone has and I am not saying these things because Buhari is the person in power. I would say the same thing if it is someone else and things are like this. It is my duty as a priest, a prophet to make sure that the truth is spoken to power. If we don’t do it, what then is our work as priests and shepherds of God’s people? So, as long as the government does not do the right thing, and does not provide good governance that we are expecting, we will continue to ask questions. The questions we have been asking are yet to be answered, particularly by this administration which promised security. The first thing that this administration promised people when they came on board was the issue of security. The President was even very specific; he promised that by the end of that year that he came into office Boko Haram would be a thing of the past. But look at where we have found ourselves now. Everybody, including those in the present administration, knows and would admit the fact that the country has never found itself in a worse security situation in the history of Nigeria as we have now found ourselves now. It’s even worse than the Civil War because during the Civil War not everywhere in the country was affected. There were places that did not experience the war and, as such, were safe. But now, you hear of Boko Haram, you hear of bandits, you hear of killer Fulani herdsmen and other criminal groups, we never heard of before now. The home state of the President Katsina, is now one of the most insecure states in the country. So, what has the President got to say? Because before he came on board there was no issue of banditry in either Katsina or Zamfara State. Things have never been this bad. If you look at the whole of northern Nigeria, you will realise that insecurity in the North-West is now far worse than what is being experienced in the North-East. We know the North-East is faced with the challenge of insurgency, but it is not as bad as what’s happening in the North-West now.

Do you think that Buhari will be leaving Nigeria in 2023 worse than he met it 2015 in terms of security?

Who knows whether Nigeria will still be in existence by 2023? Who knows who will be around in 2023? I don’t know if I will be here (in 2023). I don’t know if Buhari will be there. Even those politicians who are agitating, how sure are they that they are going to be there in 2023. What we are experiencing now is even worse than the Civil War experience. Look at what happened in Ebonyi, the killings by Fulani herdsmen. Can we say we have a government in power and this is happening? There is no single day in this country that you will not hear of mass killings or mass abduction of people. I believe the government knows the root causes of all these things and they also know the solutions but the question is: why are they not fixing things? The simple reason is government has interest in everything that is happening. And inasmuch as the government has interest in what is happening, then government will not have the will to stop it. Something must be wrong somewhere.

What can Christian leaders do?

Christian leaders can try their best, in the little way they can, wherever they find themselves. A drop of water in the ocean is more important than no drop at all. My usual advice for Christian leaders is: whatever you are doing wherever you are, give it your best. Even if everybody is bad, and things are falling apart, don’t give up. Put in your best and continue to do the right thing, wherever you find yourself.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/punchng.com/why-yola-catholic-church-built-mosque-for-muslim-idps-bishop-mamza/%3famp

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Re: Catholic Church In Yola Built A Mosque For Muslims - Bishop Mamza by Ammishaddai: 10:25am On Apr 11
Although it looks awkward, but if that's his wish then no wahala

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Re: Catholic Church In Yola Built A Mosque For Muslims - Bishop Mamza by donbachi(m): 10:30am On Apr 11
Nice one.though not import.cos when e set.they will never consider it.

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Re: Catholic Church In Yola Built A Mosque For Muslims - Bishop Mamza by AsomughaChuks05: 10:52am On Apr 11
The christians in Adamawa must be a special breed for that state not to be among the states that imposed Sharia law in the north. May be it was because a Christian was their governor at the time the sharia fever was sweeping the north. God really saved that state from fulani agenda.

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Re: Catholic Church In Yola Built A Mosque For Muslims - Bishop Mamza by Asgard13: 11:01am On Apr 11
AsomughaChuks05:
The christians in Adamawa must be a special breed for that state not to be among the states that imposed Sharia law in the north. May be it was because a Christian was their governor at the time the sharia fever was sweeping the north. God really saved that state from fulani agenda.

Adamawa is 52% Christians and majority Catholic.

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Re: Catholic Church In Yola Built A Mosque For Muslims - Bishop Mamza by Blackfire(m): 11:05am On Apr 11
is that priest alright??

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Re: Catholic Church In Yola Built A Mosque For Muslims - Bishop Mamza by Nobody: 11:06am On Apr 11
He is encouraging them to perish in hell coz no headslammer will make heaven. Mosque that they will still stay in to plan how to bomb churches grin

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Re: Catholic Church In Yola Built A Mosque For Muslims - Bishop Mamza by Nobody: 11:07am On Apr 11
On the flip side, can head slammers build church for christians? They rather bomb the whole nation instead of that happening

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Re: Catholic Church In Yola Built A Mosque For Muslims - Bishop Mamza by houseontherock: 11:07am On Apr 11
It doesn't stop the muslims from planning attacks on Christians in that mosque, we are also supposed to bring them to Christ, not drive them to the mosque. Unless there's a political undertone or pure pretence, this is not necessary

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Re: Catholic Church In Yola Built A Mosque For Muslims - Bishop Mamza by ProfessorBerlin(m): 11:11am On Apr 11
Continue to empower ur enemies, if dem start to dey kill Una again na go dey shout up and down

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Re: Catholic Church In Yola Built A Mosque For Muslims - Bishop Mamza by Mindlog: 11:16am On Apr 11
Double-edged sword

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Re: Catholic Church In Yola Built A Mosque For Muslims - Bishop Mamza by chuksville(m): 11:23am On Apr 11
Muslims consider Christians as infidels.
They won't extend such gesture to Christians.

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Re: Catholic Church In Yola Built A Mosque For Muslims - Bishop Mamza by adadike(f): 11:33am On Apr 11
We Catholics should really go back to the drawing table. Build house for then is a goal, feeding them ls also a goal but building a place of worship? Knowing fully well that their religion endorses terrorism is a big red card

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Re: Catholic Church In Yola Built A Mosque For Muslims - Bishop Mamza by AsomughaChuks05: 11:35am On Apr 11
Asgard13:


Adamawa is 52% Christians and majority Catholic.

Looks plausible but Gombe state has many christians too but they are under Sharia law. Adamawa is lucky.

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Re: Catholic Church In Yola Built A Mosque For Muslims - Bishop Mamza by nairalandankrah: 11:39am On Apr 11
Misplaced priorities..

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Re: Catholic Church In Yola Built A Mosque For Muslims - Bishop Mamza by Monogamy: 11:42am On Apr 11
There is nothing bad in that

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Re: Catholic Church In Yola Built A Mosque For Muslims - Bishop Mamza by phygo89(m): 11:43am On Apr 11
Humanity first

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Re: Catholic Church In Yola Built A Mosque For Muslims - Bishop Mamza by SpecialAdviser(m): 11:46am On Apr 11
What the church need to understand is that showing love to Muslims will never change them to a better people.

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Re: Catholic Church In Yola Built A Mosque For Muslims - Bishop Mamza by AsomughaChuks05: 11:46am On Apr 11
That's the difference between Christianity and Islam. One was founded on love even for enemies and the other on violence against any who resist to accept.


I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ 37 Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink?38 And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? 39 And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ 40 And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’

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Re: Catholic Church In Yola Built A Mosque For Muslims - Bishop Mamza by flamingREED(m): 11:57am On Apr 11
Catholics have always been hellbent on going to hell.

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Re: Catholic Church In Yola Built A Mosque For Muslims - Bishop Mamza by mu2sa2: 12:03pm On Apr 11
OOzz:
He is encouraging them to perish in hell coz no headslammer will make heaven.
Who is a head slammer? You think you are mocking some other people, but that's exactly how Jesus pray as recorded in mathew 26:39:

"Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed,..."

Now, you know who "head slammers" are.

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Re: Catholic Church In Yola Built A Mosque For Muslims - Bishop Mamza by Rugaria: 12:04pm On Apr 11
Very stoopid act!
Build mosque form what?
After repeated sand ceaseless assault, folks are now mentally condition to dance to the whims and caprices of a ruthless religion desperate to intimidate and dominate..
Nothing concerns a catholic with a mosque!
The bishop in charge should be dethroned!

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Re: Catholic Church In Yola Built A Mosque For Muslims - Bishop Mamza by okeyglm: 12:04pm On Apr 11
instead of converting them to Christ. you are encouraging paganism . what has light got to do with darkness? your going to hell Mr bishop

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Re: Catholic Church In Yola Built A Mosque For Muslims - Bishop Mamza by Genesiis(m): 12:57pm On Apr 11
mu2sa2:
Who is a head slammer? You think you are mocking some other people, but that's exactly how Jesus pray as recorded in mathew 26:39:

"Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed,..."

Now, you know who "head slammers" are.
It gladdens my heart you read the Bible. You can still turn a new leaf, Jesus loves you.

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Re: Catholic Church In Yola Built A Mosque For Muslims - Bishop Mamza by akanke79: 1:19pm On Apr 11
okeyglm:
instead of converting them to Christ. you are encouraging paganism . what has light got to do with darkness? your going to hell Mr bishop

All religions are man made.How come there are too many religions in the world?God is not an author of confusion.

Religion is only a tool to control and predict the masses.The religious laws are used to oppress the weak and poor while the rich and leaders are above the law.
Have you ever wondered why animals dont go to hell or heaven since they do all humans do?

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Re: Catholic Church In Yola Built A Mosque For Muslims - Bishop Mamza by okeyglm: 1:22pm On Apr 11
akanke79:


All religions are man made.How come there are too many religions in the world?God is not an author of confusion.

Religion is only a tool to control and predict the masses.The religious laws are used to oppress the weak and poor while the rich and leaders are above the law.
Have you ever wondered why animals dont go to hell or heaven since they do all humans do?
Atheist like you don't believe in power of God.

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Re: Catholic Church In Yola Built A Mosque For Muslims - Bishop Mamza by Mikecold: 1:24pm On Apr 11
Monogamy:
There is nothing bad in that
helinus my Yoruba Muslim friend can Muslims build churches for kufir too?

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Re: Catholic Church In Yola Built A Mosque For Muslims - Bishop Mamza by Ekejoestar(m): 1:25pm On Apr 11
I don't mean to be rude here, but Christianity has been watered down by people like this Bishop, if you really want to show human compassion why not build a skill acquisition center for them or build a school instead of building a mosque, now tomorrow if an evangelist approach them with the gospel of Jesus, how will they accept it when you as a Bishop have unknowingly endorsed Islam by building a mosque. Jesus said that whoever does not gathers with Him, scatters. Feeding them is good, that's humanity. But by building a mosque for them you have endorsed Islam.... May God 4give us all

Mikecold:
This is just a silly political correctness act not Christianity


I don't know why people don't realise we can show love to Muslims without been unequivocally yoked with them

Can Sheik Gumi even use his Boko Haram proceeds to build church for Christians?

The bishop needs to re examine himself... The Bible made it clear that friendship with the world is enmity with God

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Re: Catholic Church In Yola Built A Mosque For Muslims - Bishop Mamza by Mikecold: 1:26pm On Apr 11
Ekejoestar:
I don't mean to be rude here, but Christianity has been watered down by people like this Bishop, if you really want to show human compassion why not build a skill acquisition center for them or build a school instead of building a mosque, now tomorrow if an evangelist approach them with the gospel of Jesus, how will they accept it when you as a Bishop have unknowingly endorsed Islam by building a mosque
This is just a silly political correctness act not Christianity


I don't know why people don't realise we can show love to Muslims without been unequivocally yoked with them

Can Sheik Gumi even use his Boko Haram proceeds to build church for Christians?

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Re: Catholic Church In Yola Built A Mosque For Muslims - Bishop Mamza by Vulcanheph(m): 1:27pm On Apr 11
Why would Muslims accept a mosque built by INFIDELS ... This is HARAM, any Muslim that uses the mosque should be killed and the mosque should be destroyed because Islam is a religion of PEACE

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