Today January 23, 2022

Christian and Muslim leaders pledged to work together

Accra, Dec. 10, GNA – Christian and Muslim religious leaders from the Anglophone West African Countries of Nigeria, Ghana, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and the Gambia have pledged and reaffirmed their willingness, determination and commitment to work with one another.

The leaders also pledge to collaborate with the Governments of their respective countries for the promotion of the Freedom of Religion or Belief (FoRB) for peace in the sub-region and beyond.

A communique issued by participants after an Anglophone West Africa Regional Training of Trainers’ workshop on FoRB said as religious leaders, representing the sub-region and millions of followers, “we do hereby commit to encourage and promote mutual respect for religious values, beliefs and practices.”

The meeting was held in a hybrid (virtual and physical) concurrently across the sub-region under the auspices of the Programme for Christian-Muslim Relations in Africa (PROCMURA) and within the framework of the regional Training of Trainers workshop on FoRB.

Topics discussed were an introduction to Christian Faith Perspective of FoRB, Muslim Faith Perspective of FoRB, Country Group Works and Situational Analysis on FoRB and Case Studies, FoRB as A Human Right Skills in Promoting FoRB, Constructive Christian-Muslim Relations; a Substantive Mechanism for the Promotion of FoRB, among others.

The leaders said they would also live and practice FoRB in their daily lives to fight against extremism and religious radicalisation through the promotion of FoRB in their respective countries.

“It is to fight intolerance through the promotion of Christian-Muslim constructive relations; to encourage and develop meetings of Christian and Muslim leaders to be proactive in the defence of FoRB and together condemn the abuses and deviations within our religions and our respective countries,” it said.

They also appealed to governments of the various countries and political decision-makers to recognise FoRB within the religious-cultural framework of Africa as a universal human right and to guarantee it through legal instruments for the protection of the rights of all.

“We also appeal to religious leaders in the fight against extremism and radicalization to guarantee the complementarity of the State with religions and to develop a permanent dialogue with religious leaders within the framework of the FoRB,” it said.

The communique said it was for them to respect the principle of neutrality and non-interference of the State in religious affairs by refraining from the politicisation or the exploitation of religion for political gains and establishing an effective and inclusive mechanism to combat terrorism radicalisation and violent extremism emanating from intra and interreligious intolerance.

The communique expressed the gratitude of the respective governments of the participating countries for creating the requisite technological environment which enhanced the hybrid workshop.

Source: Ghana News Agency



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