“GIVE TO CAESAR WHAT IS CAESAR’S”: RELIGIOUS CHALLENGES AND THE QUEST FOR FREEDOM IN NORTHERN NIGERIA
This paper calls for a theological reconsideration of the basic teachings of Christianity in the midst of the recent insightful religious killings in Northern Nigeria. It has given various positions, which the recent attacks majorly on Christian parts of Northern Nigeria, have imposed in the minds of Christians. In the midst of these incessant attacks, Christians in Northern Nigeria are operating on tripartite grounds: the Christian faithful, who believe relying on God alone, some believe ‘Caesar’ should be given a place and God his boundaries, while another group believe combining ‘Caesar’ and God would be helpful. This paper exposes these positions and calls for re-orientation of Christian theology in the midst of African human realities in order to instigate religious freedom in Northern Nigeria.
2 Howard Thurman, Jesus and the Disinherited (Boston: Beacon Press, 1996), pp. 22-3.
3 Thurman, pp. 28-9.
4 Thilo Thielke, “Christianity in Africa: Jesus in the Morning, Voodoo in the Evening” http://www.spiegel.de/international/spiegel/christianity-in-africa-jesus-in-the-morning-voodoo-in-the-evening-a-463787.html [Accessed 9th May, 2017].
5 Thielke, “Christianity in Africa”.
6 Adamo, “Christianity and the African traditional religion(s)”.
7 Samuel Waje Kunhiyop, African Christian Theology (Nairobi: WordAlive Pub-lishers, 2012), 57-9. Matthew Michael, Christian Theology and African Theolo-gy (Kaduna: Yuty Graphics, 2011), pp. 155-7.
8 Abdul Azim Islahi, “Shehu Uthman Dan Fodio and His Economic Ideas,” https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/40916/ [Accessed 18th August, 2017]. Ibra-heem Sulaiman, A Revolution in History: The Jihad of Usman Dan Fodio (Lon-don-New York: Mansell Publishing Limited, n.d.).
9 For an elaborative study see Gideon Y. Tambiyi, The African Church under Fire: Problems and Prospects (Kaduna: Tubase Print and Publication, 2014), pp. 24, 27.
10 Johnson Olaosebikan Aremu, “The Fulani Jihad and its Implication for Nation-al Integration and Development in Nigeria,” African Research Review: An In-ternational Multidisciplinary Journal 5 (2011), pp. 1-12.
11 For an elaborative study see Monica Mark, “Voodoo in Africa: Christian De-monisation Angers Followers” https://www.theguardian.com/world/2012/ dec/06/voodoo-benin-africa-christian-demonisation [Accessed 9th May, 2017].
12 On the Jewish practice particularly in the establishment of the Synagogue see Robert G. Gromacki, New Testament Survey (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1974), p. 2. The synagogues became the center for missionary activities during the days of the apostles, and out of the synagogues, came the first Christian converts, be-lievers who were Jews and Gentiles proselytes to Judaism. Also see Gideon Y. Tambiyi, Priesthood and African Christian Thoughts (Germany: Lambert Academic Publishing, 2017), pp. 71, 73, 163.
13 Howard Thurman, Jesus and the Disinherited (Boston: Beacon Press, 1996), p. 15. Karen D. Crozier, “Appropriating the Prophetic Visions of Du Bois and Thurman: Considerations for the Academy,” Journal of Race, Ethnicity, and Religion 4 (2013), p. 3. Geza Vermes, The Religion of Jesus the Jew (Minneap-olis: Fortress Press, 1993). Anthony C. Siracusa, “Disrupting the Calculation of Violence: James M. Lawson, Jr. and the Politics of Nonviolence” (Master’s Thesis at Vanderbilt University, May, 2015), p. 10. Sandra Richards Mayo, “Chasing the ‘Hounds of Hell’: Howard Thurman’s Jesus and the Disinherited as a Curriculum for Racial Justice and Reconciliation,” International Christian Community of Teacher Educators Journal 10 (2015), p. 7.
14 J. Dogara Gwamna, “The ‘Poor’ in Biblical Perspective: A Challenge to Dia-konia,” Perspectives in African Theology (Bukuru: ACTS, 2008), p. 11.
15 Gwamna, ‘Poor’, 30.
16 Yusufu Turaki, Tainted Legacy: Islam, Colonialism and Slavery in Northern Nigeria (McLean, VA: Isaac Publishing, 2010), pp. 75-110.
17 Yusufu Turaki, Historical Roots of Ethno-Religious Crises and Conflicts in North Nigeria (Jos: Challenge Press, 2017), p. 7.
18 Turaki, Historical Roots, 22. Also see, Yusufu Turaki, The British Colonial Legacy in Northern Nigeria: A Social Ethical Analysis of the Colonial and Post-Colonial Society and Politics in Nigeria (Jos: Yusuf Turaki Foundation, 2017), pp. 65-69.
19 On how to confront the existential and theoretical demands of life see Charles H. Long, “The Oppressive Elements in Religion and the Religions of the Op-pressed” in Significations: Signs, Symbols, and Images in the Interpretation of Religion (Aurora: The Davies Group, 1995), p. 173.
20 Robert R. Stains, “Cultivating Courageous Communities through the Practice and Power of Dialogue,” Mitchell Hamline Law Review 42 (2016), pp. 1525-6.
21 Michael L. Cook, “The African Experience of Jesus,” Theological Studies 70 (2009), pp. 668-92.
22 Williams, 38.
23 Thurman, p. 50.
24 Thurman, p. 53.