Christmas reminds us of the importance of giving and sharing with friends and family.
Christmas is such a festive season that people from all religions and faith celebrate worldwide despite it being a Christian festival.
This year, the Navrongo-Bolgatanga Diocesan Youth Council (NABODYC) held a joint Christmas celebration in Garu.
The celebration, which took place at the Holy Angels Parish playground, Thursday, 30th December 2021, was geared towards promoting peaceful coexistence in line with the Sahel Peace Initiative (SPI) project.
It brought together Catholic, Presbyterian, Assemblies of God, and Muslim youth in the area.
The respective religious sects competed in Volley Ball, Ludo, and Playing Cards games, with a common goal to enhance social cohesion amongst them.
They were also educated on the need to live in peace with one another in their various communities.
The Bawku Deanery Youth Chaplain, Rev. Fr. Vincent Duk Kolog admonished them to repel any attempts to be used to perpetrate violence in any situation.
“We have seen that very often than not, they make use of the young ones, finding loopholes among us and taking advantage of it do their dubious acts.
“We are aware of this, and as Christians, and Muslims, we must come together and bond through our common father [God], and consider ourselves as brothers and sisters of the Lord.
“Together, we will not give them the space to be able to use any of us for this [violence],” he added.
He stated that “the reason for this gathering [celebration] is to give us this ambience to be able to interact with each other to get to know ourselves and to foster that unity and love that should be among us.”
Speaking on the renewed Bawku conflict that has claimed several lives and led to the imposition of curfew and the ban on wearing of smock, Fr. Vincent said,”… if the young ones had stood up and said we are together, we are not going to fight, it would have been difficult for any quarrel to go on there.
“He urged the people of Bawku to appreciate peace and protect it,” he stressed.
The leadership of the Muslims who were present expressed delight in the activities and the reasons for them, and pledge to help sustain the bond of unity among the diverse religious sects.
The joint celebration is part of the Sahel Peace Initiative (SPI) project of the Catholic Relief Services (CRS).