Sunday, August 11, 2019

Kurban Celebration in Central Africa

It is a picture of peace in the middle of a country shaken by conflict. Numerous people settled down on colorful blankets in the center of Bangui, the capital of the Central African Republic, on the occasion of Eid al-Adha (the Feast of the Sacrifice), also known as Kurban, as they listened to the words of Imam Said. Also among the faithful on the red earth sat Imam Kadir Sanci, member of the House of One’s Advisory Board.


The three-day festival commemorates the piousness of Abraham, who was ready to make the greatest sacrifice: his son. From Germany to Egypt to Indonesia, millions of Muslim families celebrate with prayers and music. In Bangui the Lakounga Mosque, led by Imam Said, organized the open-air holiday prayer.


The House of One, similar to the past year, had called for donations for the Central African Republic. A central part of the holiday, among other things, is sharing. Muslim women and men are called upon to help others and to make donations for those in need. The aid organization Time to Help organized our Central Africa campaign. Time to Help also organized the donation distribution locally in the Central African Republic that included not only Muslim and Christian communities, but also schools and other community centers.


Imam Kadir Sanci traveled to Bangui to help distribute the food. Together with the Foreign Minister Sylvie Baipo Temon and our Central African partners from the Peace Platform, Imam Sanci visited churches and mosques to deliver the Kurban donations.


Imam Sanci and Imam Kobine were received with applause by a Baptist community. “Kurban connects us, as poverty knows no religion,” Imam Sanci said. Protestant and Muslim congregations were also on the list of communities to visit. The years of war have left marks behind everywhere. “We have seen, how churches and mosques have been destroyed,” Sanci said. A Muslim community gathers under a makeshift wood construction topped with sheet metal since the destruction of their prayer rooms.