Another riot was beginning when Abdul, a 19-year-old man in Anglo-Jos, Nigeria, shouted a plea: "Friends, friends, please don't touch this kiosk!"
Youths from one religion were about to burn down the business of a family from a different religious background. Unlike previous times, however, Abdul was determined to stop it.
Abdul shouted, "This man has worked hard to rebuild this kiosk after it was burnt in the last crisis. We all enjoy buying things from his shop."
"Move away or we will drag you away!" his friends replied.
Violence between Christian and Muslim groups in Nigeria has been an all-too-frequent occurrence. That's why the Christian Reformed World Relief Committee (CRWRC) has incorporated peace and reconciliation work into its community development program there.
The hope is to help people recognize the humanity of all their neighbors and the good that can occur when people work together. Abdul is one of the participants in CRWRC's program.
In the past, Abdul was one of the ringleaders of violence in the neighborhood.
During one of the CRWRC youth meetings, Abdul and his colleagues, however, discussed how vandalizing, destroying, and burning buildings limited the ability of the community to grow and how innocent people suffered the most.
Abdul reflected on the many shops and kiosks that had been destroyed, some by his own hands. He also recalled how many people had struggled and borrowed money to open the businesses again.
He promised himself to never again let his religious differences lead him to destroy someone's livelihood.
"Guys, do this for me, please; it's the right thing to do," Abdul begged.
"Have you gone soft? Are you an arna [infidel] friend now?" they asked.
"He has done nothing wrong. Let the man be. He has a wife and family to care for," Abdul said.
Eventually, his friends relented and left the kiosk alone.