A senior Anglican Church leader in Nigeria told the BBC that Christian leaders damaged efforts to combat the threat of Boko Haram due to their failure to engage in dialogue with Muslims.
Nigerian Archbishop Josiah Idowu-Fearon, who is the new secretary-general of the Anglican Communion, told the BBC that Christians had feared the country was being “Islamised”. They believed that Muslim leaders were supporting the militants, he continued.
In the past, Boko Haram has targeted both Muslims and Christians in their efforts to enforce Islamic law in the northern part of Nigeria.
Since the beginning of the groups insurgency in 2009 they have killed about 10,000 people and kidnapped hundreds of women and girls, the BBC reported.
The BBC’s John McManus said that Archbishop Idowu-Fearon has a reputation for promoting dialogue between the Christian and Muslim communities.
The Archbishop told McManus that efforts to preserve peace and open dialogue between the two religious groups were being undermined by some fellow Christians as they were not willing to engage with their Muslim counterparts.
“We warned the leadership in my country, the Christian Association of Nigeria: ‘Let us listen to the Muslim leadership, because the leadership is not in support of Boko Haram.’
“‘Oh no no no,’ they said, ‘they are always deceiving us. They are all the same,'” he said.