The Rural Communities Development Network (RURCON) in partnership with the Dutsen Kura Youth Interfaith Group under the banner of the Joint Initiative for Strategic Religious Action (JISRA) has organized a transformative town hall meeting themed ‘Say No to Religious Discrimination and Violence’ at YWAM 1 in the Bassa local government area of Plateau State on Friday September 1.
The event featured influential figures from both Christian and Muslim backgrounds within the Dutsen Kura community who delivered powerful messages of unity, peace, and the importance of true religious teachings and also to tackle the challenges of religious discrimination.
Mr. Jallang David, PGM facilitator in the Dutsen Kura community in his overview on the participatory grantmaking initiative that lead to the organization of the town hall meeting highlighted the importance of allowing communities champion their own development.
He said, “The town hall meeting aimed to highlight the importance of participatory grantmaking in the Joint Initiative for Strategic Religious Action (JISRA) and its role in transforming power dynamics within the community. Participatory grantmaking empowers local partners and communities to make funding decisions, shifting them from mere beneficiaries to leaders and decision-makers in their own right.”
Atina Joseph Adick, the Dutsen Kura Youth Lead in his welcome remarks expressed the meeting’s purpose.
He said, “The purpose of this interfaith gathering is to discuss the issue of religious discrimination, themed ‘Say No to Religious Discrimination and Violence.’ We have collaborated with JISRA through RURCON, engaging in activities such as sensitization in primary schools and capacity-building training for peaceful coexistence. Today, we gather our elders, religious leaders, and village heads to guide us in our journey towards a more harmonious community.”
The town hall meeting provided a platform for open dialogue, addressing root causes of religious discrimination and its link to politics. It also offered practical solutions, such as promoting forgiveness, upholding true religious teachings, and educating individuals to identify and resist the influence of fake religious leaders and doctrines.
As the meeting concluded, the Field Officer for the initiative, Onuche Ocheja commended the Dutsen Kura community for their proactive stance against religious discrimination and encouraged attendees to become champions of peace and humanitarians rather than promoters of religious or ethnic propaganda.