Friday, March 15, 2019

Cardinal and Imam in joint peace work

For years, the spiritual leaders - Catholics, Muslims and Protestants - of the Central African Republic have been working in an unprecedented way together and across every religious line for peace in a country shaken by armed conflict. "The inter-religious platform we have established in Central Africa brings together the three major religions - Muslims, Protestants and Catholics - in this dangerous political climate," said Cardinal Dieudonné Nzapalainga, project ambassador of the House of One Foundation, in Berlin. "The conflict in our country is not religious, but military and political."


The Cardinal, accompanied by his peace partners, Imam Layama Kobine and Pasteur Philippe Sing-Na, came to the German capital, where they met with politicians and other non-governmental organizations (including Missio Aachen, Misereor, ELM, Inovarca and the Archdiocese of Cologne) to seek further support for peace efforts in the Central African country. The outstanding commitment of the clergy, who are committed to peace regardless of the risks to their own lives, has already been awarded the Aachen Peace Prize.


"House of Peace" for Bangui


Supported by the House of One, the Interreligious Platform also plans to establish a "House of Peace" in the central African capital of Bangui as a sign of the tolerant coexistence of religions and as a place for peace education. On this occasion, Johannes Kuehn (Bauhaus University Weimer and architect of the House of One), Professor Komlan Dela Gake (EAMAU University in Lomé/Togo) and Gabriel Ngouamidou (architect of the peace platform) also met in Berlin parallel to the meeting of the clergy to deepen the agreed cooperation between the architecture faculties of Weimar and Lomé for this project. German and African students will be working on designs for the House of Peace in Bangui in two weeks' time, at the beginning of April.

The Central African Republic, a country in the heart of the African continent, has set many negative records. Who is born here has the lowest life expectancy worldwide, only few inhabitants have sufficient food and the infant mortality rate is one of the highest on the globe. Nearly six years after the outbreak of the civil war, in which militias of the Christian majority face those of the Muslim minority, Unicef warned at the end of 2018 of a further escalation of the humanitarian crisis in the country.