AFRICA/CENTRAL AFRICA - Solidarity Visit to Bangui of a U.S. interfaith delegation

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Bangui (Agenzia Fides) - On Tuesday, April 8, U.S. Special Envoy to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation Rashad Hussain traveled to the Central African Republic (C.A.R.) with an interreligious delegation of leaders from the United States representing several faiths to demonstrate solidarity between religious communities in the U.S. and the people of the C.A.R. The delegation included Cardinal Theodore Edgar McCarrick, Archbishop Emeritus of Washington; Rashad Hussain, U.S. Special Envoy to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation; Reverend Leith Anderson, President of the National Association of Evangelicals, and Imam Mohamed Hag Magid, President of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA).
According to a source the group met with C.A.R. religious leaders Archbishop Dieudonne Nzapalainga, Imam Omar Kobine Layama, and Reverend Nicolas Guerekoyame Gbangou, who have actively come together in interfaith cooperation to promote religious tolerance and reconciliation in C.A.R. (see Fides 8 and 17 March in 2014).
Together, the U.S. and C.A.R. religious leaders met with the transitional President Catherine Samba-Panza to discuss promoting peace and reconciliation in C.A.R. and renewed their commitment to help the Country with regards to the spiral of violence triggered by the actions of Seleka rebels and anti Balaka militia.
"We have to do something to help the people of Central Africa that we carry in our hearts", said Cardinal McCarrick. The Cardinal added: "Despite the different denominations, Protestant, Catholic or Muslim, we believe in one God, the Father of all. In this we are all his sons and daughters".
The delegation met with the Muslim community in the mosque of Lakouanga and the Christian community in the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception. During these talks, the delegation was also able to meet some Seleka and anti Balaka representatives. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 10/04/2014)