One or the Other

Clashes between Islamist pastoralists and Christian villagers in March 2008 again thrust “religious violence” in Nigeria into the spotlight. The international media, for the most part depict Nigeria’s two major religions, Islam and Christianity, as divided, monolithic entities that confront each other in violent pitched battles – but there is also another subtler, more complex story.

“I have a confession to make: I have never read the Bible or the Koran. Now, I have called myself a Moslem or a Christian—whenever I have been asked to state my religion—but I can recite no more than two suwar in Arabic, Al-Fatiha and Al-Kauthar, and have been unable to get past the “begats” in Genesis. My mother is a Christian and my late father was a Moslem,” writes Nigerian author Sefi Atta.

We focus on the personal conflict facing Nigerians born into both religions in an intimate, narrative based exploration of inter-religious tensions.

Read One or the Other by Sefi Atta here.

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