Urging his ‘brothers and sisters’ in the African Diaspora around the world to serve their continent, Imam Muhammad Ashafa from Kaduna in northern Nigeria, made a thoughtful and impassioned plea for them to help create ‘a hate-free, greed-free’ continent. Their acquired knowledge and skills were essential for the future of Africa, he said.

Mike Smith

Imam Muhammad Ashafa and Pastor James Wuye, from Kaduna in northern Nigeria, whose story of personal reconciliation is captured in the documentary film The Imam and the Pastor, were welcomed to the British Parliament in London last night.

Mike Smith

Two former rival militia leaders turned peacemakers from Nigeria brought their message of reconciliation and forgiveness to London yesterday. Imam Muhammad Ashafa and Pastor James Wuye from Kaduna, who in the early 1990s were sworn enemies out to kill each other, spoke at the UK launch of An African Answer.

The protagonists of the award-winning documentary film The Imam and the Pastor, Imam Muhammad Ashafa and Pastor James Wuye, and the film’s co-Producer Dr Imad Karam were guests of the Directorate of Religious Affairs of the Government of South Sudan in Juba from 29 October to 2 November 2010. The fourth guest Mrs Amina Dikedi-Ajakaiye, a Nigerian widely travelled in Africa, helped conduct workshops for women on a previous visit to Juba and Khartoum.

At a ceremony to mark Glasgow University’s Commemoration Day on 16 June 2010, Honorary Degrees were conferred on nine people, including the Degree of Doctor of the University on both Imam Dr Muhammad Ashafa and Pastor Dr James Movel Wuye, who feature in the film The Imam and the Pastor. They were presented by the Professor of Divinity, Werner Jeanrond.

An African Answer, a new documentary by IofC’s FLTfilms was premiered in Nairobi, Kenya, 11 June. The film documents the work of reconciliation and peace-building carried out by two Nigerians, Imam Muhammad Ashafa and Pastor James Wuye, in the settlements of Burnt Forest and Eldoret, which were at the epicentre of the post election tribal violence which rocked Kenya after the December 2007 elections leaving thousands dead or displaced.

At a time of heightened political tension, with national elections scheduled for April and South Sudan due to hold a referendum in 2011 on possible secession, The Imam and the Pastor in Arabic was launched in Sudan on 16 January. The event, which took place under the theme 'Faith values are the basis for peace and coexistence', was organized by the Sudan Inter-Religious Council.

Imam Muhammad Ashafa and Pastor James Wuye have won the Fondation Chirac Prize for Conflict Prevention. They have accepted the Prize, which goes to support their work, and will attend to the ceremony on 6 November in Paris, at la Sorbonne. Former President of France Jacques Chirac, Kofi Annan and members of the jury of the Prize will attend.

A series of significant screenings and debates took place in Egypt, 27 May – 5 June, to mark the launch in the country of the Arabic version of the award-winning documentary film The Imam and the Pastor. The launch coincided with President Barack Obama’s visit to Egypt and his historic keynote speech at Cairo University on the relationship between the United States and the Muslim World. Imad Karam, who works with Initiatives of Change's FLTfilms in the UK, and his wife Amira, report.

The Arabic version of the award winning documentary film The Imam and the Pastor was launched in Lebanon on 27th March under the slogan ‘Together in service of sustainable Reconciliation’.

IofC in Brief

Who we are: Initiatives of Change (IofC) is a world-wide movement of people of diverse cultures and backgrounds, who are committed to the transformation of society through changes in human motives and behaviour, starting with their own.


Purpose: We work to inspire, equip and connect people to address world needs, starting with themselves, in the areas of trustbuilding, ethical leadership and sustainable living.