Bahai News - Religious Communities in Search of Peace in Africa
Religious Communities in Search of Peace in Africa
ctober 22, 2001
Posted to the web October 19, 2001
A consortium of religious communities met in Nairobi, Kenya, recently in
search of peace initiatives for Africa and the world in general.
The different faith communities met under the umbrella of United Religions
Initiative (URI), a global movement charged with promoting peace, especially
among the different religions of the world. This was the first regional
assembly for Africa.
The four-day meeting between October 8-12 under the theme, "Our Quest for
Peace and Development", brought together about 150 participants from around
Africa and abroad.
The assembly objectives included letting participants experience URI as a
foretaste of diverse, inclusive and peaceful community of the future; to
facilitate leadership development through collective participation by all
people at the assembly; to search for and develop peace building initiatives
for URI communities across Africa, and to develop a URI Africa Development
Strategy for the coming three years.
The Nairobi meeting was one of five such assemblies planned for various
regions worldwide. It took place soon after a US-led military attack on
Afghanistan in retaliation for the September 11 twin terrorists attack on
New York and Washington DC.
In an address read to the assembly by a participant, the Executive Director
of URI, Rev. Canon Charles P. Gibbs, noted that interfaith communities were
gathering in the shadow of the devastating terrorist attacks, with many
countries in Africa being under violence threats.
He said people were living under uncertainty, not knowing what would happen
next, and whether there would be more terrorist attacks or war, either of
which affects civilians.
"In these uneasy times," said Rev. Canon Gibbs, "you are a flame of hope
brightly burning for Africa and for the world. You are members of a global
community whose purpose is to promote enduring, daily interfaith co-operation,
to end religiously motivated violence and to create a culture of peace,
justice and healing."
He praised the assembly participants for working to fulfil the purpose of
harmonious co-existence in Africa in diversity.
The faiths represented in the assembly included the Bahai, Islamic, the
Christian, and the Sikh faiths.
©Copyright 2001, African Church Information Service
Page last updated/revised 102001
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