Hundreds of Nigerian Muslim and Christian youth stormed a government building in Abujah this week to stop Sharia law from ruling their nation.
Legislatures passed a bill that many fear will mean the Islamization of Nigeria. The measure, sponsored by Hon. Abdullahi Balarabe Salame, was considered at the National Assembly of the Sharia Laws and calls for increased power and jurisdiction of Sharia courts.
Specifically, the law attempts to fully implement Sharia criminal law at the state and federal levels.
Christian and Muslim demonstrators banded together Tuesday under The Coalition of Civil Society and Faith Based Organization (CCSFBO) to fight the new legislation. Hundreds of people protested outside the Federal Capital Territory carrying signs that said, "Christians and Muslims are one," "Don't abuse our freedom," and "We love Nigeria, we Love our Unity."
Obande Dideon is a leader in CCSFBO and is concerned Sharia criminal law will be dangerous for Nigeria.
"With the clear picture that some of the suggestions of the Sharia law -- for example, amputation and stoning to death -- are dehumanization," Dideon told reporters at the protest. "We see this as a direct infringement on our fundamental human right as every citizen of this great nation is entitled to the freedom of worship."
Dideon also called the bill "a direct imposition of an Islamic doctrine on the Nigerian people and especially the Christian community of Nigeria."
Meanwhile, AllAfrica.com reports Ibrahim Dallah, a representative of Muslim community, chastised the Nigeria government for not striving for peaceful coexistence among people of all religions in Nigeria.
The new law comes after a rising trend of Christian persecution in Nigeria. The Open Doors 2016 World Watch List shows that violence towards Nigerian Christians has increased by a staggering 62 percent. Christians are specifically targeted by radical groups like Boko Haram.