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Joseph is the lead pastor of the Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria) in Maiduguri, which is the largest congregation of an EYN Church in Nigeria.
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Maiduguri is the birthplace of Boko Haram. It started here. Actually, this new building that you can see behind me is not the church here before. The church here before was destroyed by Boko Haram. Actually, there have been a lot of challenges for us in UYN because we are a peace church.
Violence plus violence is equal to chaos. But violence when confronted with peace will minimize. And that has been our position because we have never retaliated. And that's why you see that things are going normal with us. We are getting back to status quo because we have never taken our time to think of revenge. So peace is something. What peace has not brought violence will not bring it. What peace have not controlled violence will not control it. So peace is everything.
When we got in Maiduguri, the night of our arrival, a taxi exploded with a bomb. This city is still under threat from Boko Haram. You can feel the tension when you are in a market filled with people. And yet people have to live with that every day. The trust between Christians and Muslims is complicated. Yet in this situation, people are trying to be faithful to peace and the tradition of peace that was part of their spiritual tradition.