Apr 7, 2008, 9:38 AM
A team of Dutch Christians who visited The Gambia from Holland had expressed great satisfaction over the good Christian-Muslim relations in The Gambia. They were guests on an exchange visit to the Gambia College whose mission was to see how Christian Religious Studies are taught at the College. Among them were Joker Bruinni, a lecturer and two of her male students studying for their Masters Degrees and Yamundow-Metchea, a Dutch lecturer at the College.
The team had the opportunity to see some group of Christians and Muslims living in Brikama come together to talk about their faiths and good relations. The Christians were Father Edu the Parish Priest of Resurrection parish and some of his parishioners. On Saturday, 20th October they visited the home of the Imam of the grand mosque in Brikama – Mansarisu, Imam Sankung Touray. The meeting was a cordial one where the Imam sat with his team of the mosque committee to welcome the visitors.
They began by praying in both the Christian and Muslim convictions. After prayer, the Imam spoke at length to marvel at how The Gambia is a shining example to the world where Christians and Muslims live together. This is encouraged because of the brotherly and sisterly ties among the people. He stressed that if all the people whether Christians or Muslims live in the same area then there should be nothing that should divide them, they are all one people. Secondly Imam Touray stated that both Christianity and Islam profess faith in one God and preach peace, therefore they should be seen living together.
One his part Father Edu who led the Christian team expressed delight in being welcomed by Imam Touray in his house. He explained that he was not a stranger to the Imam’s house because his first task when he came to work in Brikama was to visit the Imam’s house. He saw the need to build up a good relationship so that he could nurture his desire for Christian-Muslim relations. Since his first visit, almost at every other Muslim feast, he sends felicitations to the Imam for the Muslim community.
He pointed out that he and the Imam are friends and they always feel at home with each other when they meet at public functions. Father Edu concluded by saying that there is need for the Religious Heads to meet so that their flock and members can learn by example. The dialogue of life is very prevalent in The Gambia because Christians and Muslims always meet.
On the side of the Dutch visitors they were impressed and said that what they have learnt, they will take it to their university. Mrs. Joker Briunni who is a lecturer said she will teach about her experience to her students.
The visitors also took group photographs which they will cherish as souvenirs and also evidence to show about the reality in The Gambian Christian-Muslim relations.
It was a happy moment for all who were present because the exchange was frank, friendly and Godly. To many, the experience was a clear manifestation to the world that believers in One God should not be at conflicts or even fight and kill one another. Once they can live and co-exist in harmony then there will be progress and upliftment in their hearts which they open to worship God.
The Psalm 133 in the Bible reads, “How wonderful it is, how pleasant, for God’s people to live together in harmony! It is like the precious anointing oil running down from Aaron’s head and beard, down to the collar of his robes.
It is like the dew on Mount Hermon, falling on the hills of Zion. That is where the Lord has promised his blessings – life that never ends”.