Paths of Peaceful Co-existence…

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Yinka Olatunbosun

It is apt for conscientious writers to advocate for peaceful co-existence in contemporary writing. We live in very difficult times. Extremist groups are on the rise, countries are striving to ban certain religions and while some religious leaders convince their followers to be distant from people of other faith. Whatever form religious intolerance is manifested, it leaves bitter taste in the mouth. For this reason, Femi Takuro publishes this new literary piece titled, “Is the Kingdom of God for a particular religion?”

The title is a thought-provoking one and necessary too for many people of faith have this strange sense of superiority in their religious beliefs. While the writer did not set out to condemn any particular religion or belief-system, he places emphasis on the underlying principles of love for others as preached by Christians, Muslims, Buddhists and other religious groups.

Using copiously some biblical allusions and Quran referenced, Takuro thinks that religious tolerance should be a way of life just as other virtues like empathy, religious harmony, neighborliness while overcoming radicalism. He cites the example of the Dangote Group of Companies in his personal experience and how a Muslim owned company has tolerance for people of other religious biase, even allowing workers to hold prayer sessions at the office premises. In the writer’s view, this may have accounted for the company’s financial success story, but who will verify that? He also mentioned a pastor who donated a piece of land for the building of a mosque as an example of religious tolerance.

In his view of extremists, it is quite ironical to find that the people of Indonesia which has the largest Muslim population in the world are living peacefully. What the writer didn’t say is the country’s worst kept secret of a genocidal past. Perhaps, religion tamed the brutal minds over the years but that’s a little beside the point. The point being made by the writer is that one’s religious faith should preach love and not hate for it to be acceptable to God.

The writer dedicates an entire chapter to examining the similarities in many religious doctrines. These include the concept of God; compassion, morals, spiritual knowledge, holy book, salvation amongst others. He advises his young readers on what to do when they face pressures from terrorist groups or occultic organisations to join them. He said it is dangerous to keep quiet about this when it happens and even more tragic if not handled diplomatically.

In this book, the author also urges parents to teach their children by their own good examples, expose them to godly principles at an early age while in their formative years.

Takuro is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (FCA) whose professional career spanned auditing, banking, manufacturing and consultancy. He is passionate about mentoring, counselling and good neighborliness.