The Imam and The Pastor| 39mins
Director: Alan Channer | Producer: Alan Channer
Focus Years: 2006 | Country: United Kingdom
"The Imam and The Pastor" depicts the reconciliation between Imam Muhammad Ashafa and Pastor James Wuye, and the peace-making initiatives which have flowed from it. The film, narrated by Rageh Omaar, shows that it is possible for the perpetrators of inter-religious violence to become instigators of peace. It is both a story of forgiveness and a case study of grass-root initiatives to rebuild communities torn apart by conflict.
In the 1990s, Imam Ashafa and Pastor Wuye led opposing militias in Northern Nigeria. Now the two men work together bridging religious conflicts that have killed thousands.
In recent decades, tens of thousands of Nigerians have been killed in communal clashes between Christians and Muslims. "We formed a militia to protect our people". states Pastor Wuye. "My hate for the Muslims then had no limits". The victims of his militia included Imam Ashafa's spiritual leader and two cousins. The Imam spent three years planning revenge. Then one day, a sermon on forgiveness changed his life. The two men met and "gradually the relationship began to grow". They played a leading role in negotiating a historic peace accord. As Imam Ashafa explains, "even though we differ in some theological issues, we will make the world a safer place".