The Catholic Church has convened an international workshop on promoting religious tolerance in Africa, in Ho, for front-line Reverend Sisters of the Ministry in Sub-Saharan Africa.
The three-day Inter-Religious Dialogue for Novice Mistresses of Women Religious in Africa, is under the auspices of the Pontifical Commission for Inter-Religious Dialogue in Rome. The participants are from Ghana, Benin, Cameroon, La Cote d'Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Eritrea, Togo, Tanzania, Nigeria, Kenya, Zambia and Uganda.
Rev. Sister Cecilia Kudexa, President of the Conference of Major Superiors of Women Religious expressed the need for religious tolerance to facilitate friendliness and peaceful co-existence among nations.
Mr Joseph Amenowode, Volta Regional Minister suggested the need to make the youth the centre of such dialogues since they are the future leaders. "Our youth must be well educated to tolerate other religions and what they stand for, so as to promote unity and understanding in our communities," he said.
Monsignor Chidi Denis Isizoh, of the church in Vatican said the mission had initiated similar workshops on various ways of ensuring peace among peoples since 1998. He said building of bridges of co-operation among different segments of society represented part of the evangelization mission of the Catholic Church.
Monsignor Isizoh said Rev Sisters of the Church and their trainees (Novices) meet and relate with people of different faiths daily at schools, hospitals and other service delivery points where they work and therefore needed some prompting on religious dialogue building.
He said peaceful inter-religious relations reflected the Christ in the individual to others, which meant showing love to all.
Most Rev Francis Anani Lodunu, Bishop of the Ho Diocese of the Catholic Church observed that the Sisters, by their training had the fortitude and inclination to build peace among people.
Alhaji Hamza Danjumah, Regional Chief Imam said Islam and Christianity originated from the same cradle and therefore followers need not be at war with each other.
He said he was elated to be associated with the workshop and that no one "on whatever grounds could fault him for attending". Alhaji Danjumah said the important ingredient in peaceful interfaith relations was respect of the views of others.
He noted that just as the Moslem would add two and two to make four, in the same way the Christian would add three and one to make four, which is the same result. Topics to be treated include the Catholic Church and Islam and the Catholic Church and the African Traditional Religion.
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