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In Nigeria, Christianity and Islam Combine

Fred de Sam Lazaro reports on the blending of Christianity and Islam in Lagos, Nigeria, as an avenue to rediscovering the West African tradition of interfaith tolerance.

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    Finally tonight, mixing Christianity and Islam under one roof. Special correspondent Fred de Sam Lazaro reports from Lagos, Nigeria. A version of this story aired on the PBS program "Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly."

  • FRED DE SAM LAZARO, NewsHour Correspondent:

    This is one of hundreds of small churches in Lagos, but perhaps the only one that has on its lectern both Koran and Bible. The invocations come loudly from both.

    It's all the more unusual in a country often torn by religious conflict. Half of Nigeria's 140 million people are Muslim; the other half practice some form of Christianity.

    Sectarian violence has led to thousands of deaths over the years. Last November, such conflict in the city of Jos, often based on land disputes, claimed more than 300 lives.

    But practitioners of so-called Chrislam, 1,500 on some Sundays, see no religious fault line.

    Shamsuddin Saka — he's called Prophet — says they are all children of Abraham.

  • PASTOR SAKA (through translator):

    Abraham has many children. Abraham is the father of Christianity and the father of Islam. Why are the Christian and Muslim fighting?