Documentary Highlights Clash Between Christians and Muslims in Africa

December 2, 2003

Source: The New York Times

On December 2, 2003 The New York Times reported on a documentary, aired Dec. 2, 2003 on the Discovery Times Channel (U.S.), on the clash of Christianity and Islam in Africa: "'Battle for Souls' leads viewers into the riotous troubles with a focus on unrest in Nigeria. Christians dominate that nation's southern region; Muslims have large communities in the north. In the overlapping central strip, missionaries and evangelical Christians can count conversion successes, aided by Western methods of population mapping and televised Gospel messages. Some Muslims in the area have shored up their resolve with stricter adherence to the Koran. Interpretations include sentences like death by stoning for adulterers and amputations for thieves. Intensity on each side has led to unrest in the streets, including church burnings. Victimization and retaliation have begun a violent interplay, and the program shows how blame can be assigned to aggressors in both faiths. The Muslim and the Christian avenues to salvation might be seen as peacefully parallel in some parts of the Northern Hemisphere, but the African paths have dangerous bends."