Assisi 2011: A Methodist perspective
“There is no doubt that the 25th anniversary and the pilgrimage to Assisi again sets a platform and I believe we need the spiritual resources of all faith communities if we want to make a quantatitive difference in today's world”, says Bishop Ivan Abrahams, Secretary General of the World Methodist Council, one of the leaders of the world religions who will be accompanying Pope Benedict on pilgrimage to Assisi on Thursday.
25 years ago, the Berlin wall was still standing and the Cold War still polarised the world. In 1986, the European Union was yet to exist and a bloody sectarianism divided the communities of Northern Ireland. It was the year South Africa, in the grips of apartheid, declared a national state of emergency and it was also the year of the Chernobyl disaster.
Since then regimes have fallen, nations that were once divided have been united, and warring communities have found peace. Many thanks to the power of prayer and the work of men and women from the world’s religious communities. Men and women of faith.
“Southern Africa is a very good example”, says Bishop Abrahams. “The miracle of the Rainbow Nation in 1994 was girded in prayer, bathed in prayer. I think I can say the very same for the then Marxist state of Mozambique, it was the Community of St. Egidio [organisers of the Assisi Meeting – ed], that was able to bring the two warring faction together here in Rome. Again St Egidio is a community of people bathed in prayer. Mozambique is a very good example, where the Christian Council of Mozambique has a project where they accept arms and those arms are actually melted down and literally made into ploughshares, instruments of building up the nation, instruments of harvesting, and of prosperity”.
To read the rest of the Presiding Bishop, Ivan Abrahams Interview with the Vatican News visit : http://www.radiovaticana.org/en1/Articolo.asp?c=532473