Delegation to Nigeria hopes for “transformed reality”
5/29/2012 1:50:07 PM -
GENEVA, Switzerland, May 29, 2012/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- A high-level international delegation of Christian and Muslim leaders issued a joint statement at the end of their visit to Nigeria on 25 May, expressing hope for their 'visit to demonstrate an international model of Muslims and Christians working together in inter-religious engagement aimed at fostering peace and harmony between people of different religions.'
The delegation was coordinated by the World Council of Churches (WCC), led by its general secretary, Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit, and Prince Ghazi bin Muhammad of Jordan, chairman of the Royal Aal Al-Bayt Institute for Islamic Thought.
The statement was issued at a press conference of the delegation in Abuja, Nigeria's capital. It expressed concern over the violence in the country and stressed the need for the religious communities to work together for peace and conflict resolution.
'We believe that both Christianity and Islam are religions which long for peace, and that in both our faiths love of God and love of our neighbour must belong together,' the statement read.
The delegates met with government officials, religious leaders, traditional rulers and the families of victims of violence during their visits to Abuja, Kaduna and Jos. In their statement they expressed their hope in the transformation of the situation in Nigeria.
'In hearing the pain of those who have spoken to us we also caught a glimmer of their dreams, and the hopes of many, both religious leaders and ordinary people, that a transformed reality is possible.'
The delegation will be making further recommendations for joint inter-religious initiatives of working for dialogue and peace in Nigeria at a later stage.