Religious violence is among the major security threats bewildering most African countries. Extremist views continue to attract greater followership across the continent as poverty increases. With countries like Nigeria and Mauritania further strengthening blasphemy laws that directly attack followers of non-mainstream religions, freedom of religion continues to shrink. Our guests will help us understand why religious fundamentalism in Africa is a threat to the freedom of religion.

Dr. Xolani Sakuba is a lecturer in the school of Religion, Philosophy, and Classics, Department of Biblical and Historical Studies, Theological Studies, and ethics, at the University of Kwazulu-Natal. Notable among his publications is “Fundamentalism in African Traditional Religion: A Reflection on some Points for Consideration”. His areas of research and expertise include systematic theology, theology, and Christian theology.

Dr. Kefas Lamak is a Ph.D. Pre-Comp candidate and a lecturer in the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Iowa. He is a recipient of an ASMEA Research Grant for his paper on “Religion or Violence in the Name of Allah: The Rise of an Islamist Extremist Group in Northern Nigeria in the 2000s and the Threat it Poses to Civility, Freedom, and Democracy”. His expertise, research, and teaching interests cut across modern religion and culture, African culture and religious practices, religiously affiliated conflicts, and resolution. Kefas is the author of three recent journal articles: “The Pre-Slavery Praxis and Ethos of the Religion of West African People” in Journal of Religion in Africa; “Religious Appropriation of the Slave Trade” in Journal of Black Religious Thought; and “Double Identities and Identity Struggles in Kongolese Catholicism of the 1700s” in Pharos Journal of Theology.