MAKE DISCIPLES OF ALL NATIONS: READING MATTHEW 28:16-20 IN THE CONTEXT OF CHRISTIANISATION AND ISLAMISA TION STRATEGIES IN NIGERIA

Ignatius M. C. Obinwa

Abstract


The problem tackled in this article is that of using dubious strategies like violence
and terrorism as means for the propagation of a religious ideology, with particular reference
to Islam and Christianity in Nigeria. Both religions try to make converts through preaching,
but Islam also tends towards violence and terrorism (at least some groups therein do so).
Almost on daily basis, Nigerians wake up from sleep to hear of one act of terrorism or
another done by either the group called Boko Haram or the other group known as the Fulani
herdsmen who, in their religious bigotry and fanaticism, try to convert people by force. In
dealing with the problem, the text of Matthew 28:16-20 is employed as a theological
framework. In dealing with the text, the literary exegesis, especially semiotic analysis,is
employed and the result is hermeneutically applied to the Nigerian situation, particularly
with regard to Islamic and Christian expansion strategies. Thus, using the two major
religions as paradigms, the article has identified the good aspects of their proselytising
strategies as well as the bad ones, and has strongly urged the two groups, and indeed all
other religious groups and philosophical persuasions in the world, to make use of only the
good ones (preaching and good example) and jettison or eschew the harmful ones (violence
and terrorism).

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