AFRICA/CENTRAL AFRICA - A documentary on the friendship between Cardinal Nzapalainga and Imam Layama

Friday, 17 September 2021 peace   fratelli tutti  

Dicastero delle Comunicazioni

Bangui (Agenzia Fides) - Sìrìrì (peace in the Sango language), the cardinal et l’imam". This is the title of the documentary made by Franco-Swiss director Manuel von Stürler, on the deep bond between Cardinal Dieudonné Nzapalainga, Archbishop of Bangui and Imam Oumar Kobine Layama, President of the Higher Islamic Council of the Central African Republic, animators together with Pastor Nicolas Guerekoyame, President of the Central African Evangelical Alliance, of the Platform of Religious Confessions of the Central African Republic (PCRC). Imam Layama died on November 28, 2020 (see Fides, 1/12/2020). In the context of the dramatic civil war in the Central African Republic that broke out in 2012, the PCRC played a role in calming down the spirits, denying that the war had religious motivations.
"The three religious leaders were called the three lions. They made people aware that they had been captured by armed groups wielding the Koran or the Bible", underlines the director of the documentary, which at the beginning of September had its world premiere at the Vatican Film Library. "Since the beginning of the crisis, the imam denounced the exploitation of religion and allied himself with the cardinal and a pastor", underlines Manuel von Stürler. "The exploitation of religion is very strong to be able to take control of the Country's resources. Not to mention the more or less hidden implications of rich Countries", he adds.
Central Africa tries to get out of the crisis with difficulty, but as the director recalls "unfortunately now people are exhausted, because, if now some leaders of the large armed groups have fallen, the small groups have multiplied and dialogue has become very complicated". (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides, 17/9/2021)