From the Worldwide Faith News archives

AACC - Filling the gaps left by politicians

From Worldwide Faith News <>
Date Tue, 30 Mar 2004 10:57:31 -0800

All Africa Conference of Churches
    Tel: 254 - 20 - 4441483, 4441338/9 7 Fax: 254 - 20- 4443241, 4445835
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General Secretariat: Waiyaki Way,
P.O. Box 14205 , 00800 Westlands, Nairobi, Kenya


Filling the gaps left by politicians

NAIROBI (LWF) March 28 - For years, religious leaders in Africa have waited 
in expectation that politicians who have been engaged in peace talks, would 
in fact deliver peace to this continent but all that has come to naught, 
said Rev. Dr. Ishmael Noko, General secretary of the Lutheran World

He was addressing journalists at a press conference of the Regional 
Inter-Faith for Peace Summit in Nairobi, Kenya.

He said politicians were expected to create institutions and structures 
that would facilitate good neighbourliness and care for one another but 
that was not to be.

The Zimbabwe - born clergy said the continental peace summit held in 
Johannesburg October 2002 made them see how they had also been part of the 
political mess that engulfed the continent, one that manifested itself in 
many expressions such as the ever growing number of refugees from the 
continent, political instability.

Earlier, in a separate interview, Rev. Noko categorically said he did not 
believe in religious wars, asserting that such wars in fact were economic. 
He cautioned people against using such rhetoric to exploit religious 
diversity for their own selfish ends.

Meanwhile Rev. Fr. Thomas Bagbiowia from Sudan called for a culture of 
dialogue between the Sudan Catholic Bishops Conference, other faith 
communities with their Muslim colleagues. He said that the only way to find 
solution to Sudan problems was through dialogue

Mrs. Huwayda Atabani, representing the Sudanese Muslim interests, 
underlined that the war in Sudan was basically about wealth distribution. 
She gave a scenario where members of the same family belonging to different 
religions have been known to live under the same roof in harmony

Rev. Bagbiowia said it was necessary for the government to separate 
religion from the state.

And on Uganda, Bishop Macleord Baker Ochola II told journalist that the 
Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) has nothing to do with Christianity since it 
was going against Christian norms even as spelt in the Old Testament such 
as "do not kill" and they are killing.

He blamed the government of Uganda of showing no political will to end the 
war since it has all the means to do so. He, however, attributed that lack 
of political will from the government to end the war since it was making 
gains out of the war.

Mr. Alhaji Yusuf Murigu, a Kenyan delegate at the summit condemned the 
spreading violence in Kenya,

He noted that this could be a plot to cause fears among those whose 
political stand were not acceptable to others in relation to the 
constitutional review. He said that violence and murders are not the 
answer, what is needed is political tolerance.

Ms. Prabhudas Pattni from Rwanda, however, said the conflict that has been 
witnessed in their country was not religious but ethnic in nature. A 
similar sentiment was expressed by Sheikh Gamal Lumumba Sale Bin Ramazani 
from the DRC who said the conflict in his country was engineered by 
outsiders bent on exploiting their mineral resources.

By Joseph K'Amolo
AIMS Media for LWF

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