DR Congo: Africa Reconciled participating in workshop to mobilise religious leaders for peace
by Pascal Mugaruka, Director, Africa Reconciled
1/2/18 - From January 29, 2018 until February 2, 2018, the organisation Africa Reconciled, a member of the Pax Christi international regional network, will participate in a regional workshop of countries of the Greater Lake subregion. This workshop brings together men and women peace actors in Africa from Congo, Burundi, Rwanda, Zimbabwe, Kenya, South Sudan and South Africa. The main objective is to mobilise leaders of religious denominations to become actively involved in promoting peace, reconciliation and active nonviolence in their communities.
According to the Africa Reconciled point of view in this workshop, the Church is well placed to take action to promote peace and nonviolence in many parts of the world, simply because it is present at all levels. Its local knowledge and connections, as well as its links with regional and national structures, give the Church an obvious advantage. The Church must therefore play a key role in advocating for justice to bring about change.
Africa Reconciled reminds us that men and women of all ages who love God and His people must be able to denounce injustice in their communities. They must embody a different society and stand up against the abuse of power. These men and women must still challenge those in power and seek to influence decision-makers for the consolidation of peace and reconciliation in their countries.
Africa Reconciled also believes that it is time for leaders of religious denominations to organise public prayer events to ask God to intervene, and if they can, also use their power of persuasion to bring about change. In terms of recommendations:
- Africa Reconciled encourages participants to mobilise religious leaders to be actively involved in the work of reconciliation and active nonviolence in their respective churches as this is part of their spiritual calling;
- Africa Reconciled encourages religious leaders to involve young people and women in peacebuilding, reconciliation and active nonviolence activities in their churches;
- Africa Reconciled believes that churches can influence governments to play their role for the well-being of their peoples in order to preserve future generations and promote nonviolent leaders;
- Africa Reconciled encourages religious leaders to prepare a long-term plan for the church for lasting peace in the region;
- Africa Reconciled encourages religious leaders in the region to set up a protection network to support their advocacy work.
(Photo by Pascal Mugaruka)