Niamey (Agenzia Fides) - "This year the feast of Mouloud and Christmas coincide. This sign invites us, Christians and Muslims, to dialogue in order to bring peace to the world in the name of our common faith in Abraham, ancestor of all believers": this is what His Exc. Mgr. Laurent Lompo, Archbishop of Niamey (capital of Niger), and His Exc. Mgr. Ambroise Ouedraogo, Bishop of Maradi said in their Christmas message signed by both.
A concept reiterated by two Bishops, Ordinaries of the two ecclesiastical districts of Niger, in their message to the Muslim community for the Mouloud feast (also known as Maouloud or Mawlid in other Countries), that is to say the birth of the Prophet Mohammed, which this year was celebrated on December 24. The last time this date coincided was 457 years ago.
"It is a sign of the Almighty God who calls us to unity in the diversity as believers" reads the message sent to Agenzia Fides. The two Bishops stress that "the actuality of our Country calls us, Christians and Muslims, to embody love, forgiveness, respect for others, to ensure peace and allow national unity to grow".
Even the Archbishop of Dakar (Senegal) Mgr. Benjamin Ndiaye, in his Christmas message expressed the hope that "the proximity of the Muslim feast of Maouloud and the Christian Christmas, contributes to a larger community of believers, in prayer and fraternal love". (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 28/12/2015)