Interfaith conference results in Pan-African commitment to tolerance and respect

BuaNews (South Africa)

"Religious leaders in southern Africa have pledged their commitment to help resolve some of the conflicts and civil strife inherent in the region in order to maintain peace and stability. A statement released after a two-day Inter-Faith Conference for Peace in Africa that ended in Johannesburg [October 1], said despite leaders' diverse religious faith, 'it is incumbent upon all people, especially people of faith, to strive for tolerance, respect, harmony, and peace.' In their action plan, the leaders declared to work for a better quality of life for all, rendered more feasible by the prevalence of peace in the region. To achieve peace in the region, the men and women of the cloth committed themselves to establish interfaith groups in every country in the region where they didn't exist, such as Lesotho, Madagascar, Namibia, Seychelles, Swaziland, and Zimbabwe.

"This also included the promotion of dialogue between diverse faith communities in order to have a better understanding of different rites of worship and customs at each other's places of worship. They also committed to encourage religions and interfaith groups to proactively [become] involved in social and humanitarian projects and activities, in the areas of poverty reduction, health, education, and improved living conditions. The leaders also committed themselves to supporting their respective governments and [to] urge them to find rapid solutions to the pandemic of HIV/AIDS that is ravaging the region, particularly.... The action plan also outlined the role faith-based leaders would play in conflict areas by sending their regional peace teams to monitor and offer solutions through their faith influence to broker peace deals in the region."

Richard Mantu
"Religious leaders commit to help resolve conflicts"
BuaNews (South Africa)
October 2, 2003

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