World Peace Wednesdays: Meet Pastor James

Meet Peacemaker in Action, Pastor James Wuye from Nigeria.

James works with another religious leader, Imam Muhammad Ashafa , both of whom live in Kaduna, a city in northern Nigeria.  Today, they work together to teach warring religious youth militias to resolve their conflicts peacefully. But they did not start out as peacemakers.  Ten years ago, Imam Ashafa and Pastor James were mortal enemies, intent on killing one another in the name of religion. 
 
As leaders in their communities, however, the two men reluctantly agreed to meet.  Imam Ashafa recalls what happened:  “A mutual friend…took both of us by the hand and said:  ‘The two of you can pull this nation together, or you can destroy it.  Do something.’”  Over the next few years, through increasingly frequent meetings and separate religious epiphanies, the two men slowly built mutual respect, and decided to work together to bridge the divide between their communities.
 
In 1995, Ashafa and Wuye formed the Interfaith Mediation Centre, a religious grass- roots organization that has successfully mediated between Christians and Muslims throughout Nigeria.
 
 
This video was made possible by grants from Carnegie Corporation of New York and the Henry Luce Foundation. The statements made and views expressed are solely the responsibility of Tanenbaum. Tanenbaum's Peacemakers in Action program is also supported by the Leir Charitable Foundations.