Malawi Religious Tension - Christians Demand Council Pulls Down Offensive Muslim Billboard

The Evangelical Association of Malawi have reacted angrily to a bill board mounted in Blantyre by Muslims which say since people have read the Biblical Old Testament and the new testament, they should now read the last testament which they say is the Holy Quran.

In a statement, the association's chairperson Reverend Zacc Kawalala has told the Blantyre city council to pull down the billboard within seven days.

"We want to clearly state here that the Old Testament and the New Testament are books in the Christian Bible.

"Therefore reference told the Old Testament and New Testament in such a manner, in a country that is predominantly Christian, even without specifically mentioning the Bible, tantamount to a comparison between the Bible and the Quran.

"Such an action is unacceptable and a recipe for religious conflict in the country," says the statement.

Kawalala says Chrisitians in the city will decide their next course of action if the billboard is not pulled down within the seven days.

Sheikh Ahmed Chiyenda national coordinator for the Islamic Information Bureau insists people have read the Bible and need to read the Quran which according to him was the last book to be handed to humanity with knowledge.

"We're not trying to create conflict, we're trying to tell people that if they want further understanding, they should come to the Islamic Information Bureau to get further knowledge in the Quran," he said.

Sheikh Chiyenda further says they see nothing wrong with the message they have put out, and that if everyone was to be given what they want, there would be chaos.

"What Christians are trying to do is have dominance over Islam as it's trying to spread its message. Malawi has rights enshrined in the Constitution to religion, assembly and we are just exercising that right," he said.

Malawian Christians and Muslims have tended to co-exist in a country that only identifies as God-fearing. The 2018 census estimated that Malawi has 2.426,754 Muslims representing 13.8 percent of the population, with Christians as the dominant group, comprising 77.3 percent of the population.

The Catholics and the CCAP Church are the dominant Christian groups at 17.2 and 14.2 percent respectively

President Lazarus Chakwera is a devout Christian who was once a pastor at Assemblies of God and lectured in Theology at college.

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