“Religion is not a tool for conflict in Sierra Leone,” Said a student who is studying Conflict Analysis at the Department of Peace and Conflict Studies at Fourah Bay College, University of Sierra Leone.
According to the student, the people of Sierra Leone are very much religiously tolerant if compare to other part of the world, for example Nigeria where religious violence is common. In Sierra Leone, religion is being treated as an institution where people can make friends and other social connectivity. That is, there are series of several inter- marriages between people of diverse family religious background. Where in, you can see Muslim married to Christian and both of them keep their religion. Children from Muslim background can attend Christian school without any problem. In terms of funeral, it is common to see Christian sympathizing with Muslim. Interestingly, religious holidays are observed with Horner; by all and sundry without any conflict on the basis of religious belief.
The country is comprises of Chritmus, this is a term that can best describe the way Sierra Leonean are religiously tolerance with each other. The term Christmus is where Muslims can easily accept people from other religious back grounds, such as Christian and more. There is an organization called inter religious council, that is comprises of both Muslims and Christian, where they can meet and discuss ways as to how to continue with the good relationship amongst different religions especially Christian.
Even the African Traditional Religions share the blessing of religious tolerance of Sierra Leoneans. This is manifested by the numerous public traditional rituals that go uninterrupted. In Sierra Leone, nobody seems to care about religious deference; but as the saying goes “there is hardly a white space without a highlighted spot”.
“Off course, with all the hand lifted flag been fled; displaying religious tolerance in mother Sierra Leone there is still room for improvement” .says a woman whose daughter was turned down by her fiancé, on the eve of their marriage.
According to the view of most people contacted on this subject before going to press, there has been one or two incidence of religious misunderstandings but this has never claim live as it is in the case of our friends in Nigeria.
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