The Catholic Diocese of Oyo has urged the Muslim faithful in Nigeria to embrace and pray for peace, justice and an end to social vices in the country as they begin Ramadan fast today.
The church made the call in a statement on Tuesday in Oyo, which which was made available to the News Agency of Nigeria.
It was signed jointly by the Catholic Bishop of Oyo Diocese, Most Rev. Emmanuel Badejo, and Rev. Fr. Joseph Ogundipe, the Diocesan Director, Inter-Religoius Dialogue.
The clerics, while congratulating Muslims on the commencement of the Ramadan, also urged all faithful to feel most concerned and pray against violence, kidnapping, banditry and bloodshed in the country.
They said the people should be concerned about the current siege being laid on parts of the country through violent kidnapping, rape and killing of women, farmers and even ordinary citizens while going about their lawful duties.
They said: “This is happening to Christians and Muslims alike and is making the day- to- day living and livelihood difficult for all.
“Ours is a culture that respects the sanctity of life and the rights of all citizens while protecting harmonious coexistence.
“Therefore, as Muslims and Christians, we must join hands together and promote the virtues of equity, justice and peace so as to return our society to the path of serenity and prosperity.”
According to them, Catholics are open to work with religious leaders and their faithful for fruitful and holistic human development which will enhance the future of children and society.
They prayed that God should help religious and political leaders to lead the people aright.
They said: “As we pray for your successful observation of this holy season, we assure you of our goodwill and pray that your supplication may bring peace to our world, our country and to Yorubaland in particular.
“On behalf of the Clergy, Consecrated Persons and lay people of the Catholic Diocese of Oyo, we wish to felicitate you, our dear brothers and sisters as you begin to observe one of the most beautiful tenets of Islam, the Ramadan Fast.
“The Almighty Allah, who permits all that is good, must have a hand in the coincidence that you are beginning this noble spiritual exercise while Christians are still celebrating the joy of Easter.
“We thank God for sparing our lives and for limiting the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on our dear country, Nigeria. May he continue to protect us all.
“Wishing you a blessed month of Ramadan.”