AFRICAN COUNCIL OF RELIGIOUS LEADERS

REPORT 2 FROM BISHOP MIKE VORSTER

GENERAL ASSEMBLY

AFRICAN COUNCIL OF RELIGIOUS LEADERS (ACRL)

17 – 20 OCTOBER 2016

ABUJA, NIGERIA

 

Bishop Mike attended the The African Council of Religious Leaders — Religions for Peace (ACRL—RfP) General Assembly – Abja, Nigeria from 18 to 20th October 2016. The African Council of Religious Leaders — Religions for Peace (ACRL—RfP) is the largest and most representative multi-religious platform in Africa. ACRL—RfP's Vision is Sustainable peace and Justice in Africa. Our mission is mobilizing religious leaders and their communities to build peaceful, just, hopeful and harmonious societies in Africa. ACRL-RfP's strategic areas include Peace and Justice, Democracy and Governance, Sustainable development and sustaining the earth and institutional strengthening.

FAITH WORKS AFRICA, ABUJA NIGERIA OCTOBER 18-20: Co-hosted by the African Council of Religious Leaders, GHR FoundationUSAIDReligions for Peace and The Global Women of Faith Network , under the auspices of Cardinal John Onaiyekan and the Sultan of Sokoto.

300 religious leaders and heads of FBOs gathered to explore activity and contributions to peace and prosperity. A resolution unanimously adopted by the assembly called for interreligious collaboration to end extreme poverty and to address the underlying causes of violent extremism.

JLI moderated a session on humanitarian response, with a short presentation including the 5 Evidence briefs  on religious and faith based response. Religious leaders from across the continent offered specific examples of religious and faith-based response to local humanitarian challenges.

Summary Article 

There were several contiguous meetings:

 The first annual meeting of the Partnership for Religion and Development ( PaRD) gathered gathered some of its 5 bilateral, 10 multilateral members, and 5 guest members for discussion of progress and planning for the work ahead. PaRD elected its first four  FBO partner organizations,  including the JLI and Global Ethics.

The Sultan of Sokoto together with IIPC, led by Imam Magid and Imrana Umar and UNDP, hosted by top Uluma from seven West African countries for a two day working discussion on how to ramp up religious leadership to counter violent extremism. The Sultan chaired the intense discussions which resulted in the Declaration.

The Network of Religious and Traditional Leaders and IIPC briefed inter religious leaders on the Marrakesh Declaration. The Declaration was a revelation to most of the participants. Muslim and Christian speakers from the floor noted the reciprocal benefits of the Declaration with regard to protection for all religious minorities. The Declaration was warmly received, with calls from Christian leaders to develop an analogous document drawing on Holy Scripture for protection of the rights of minority religions. A USIP fellow announced that he had translated the document from the original Arabic into Hausa.

 

 

The event was co-hosted by the:

H.M. Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar III, The Sultan of Sokoto, Nigeria

H.E. John Cardinal Onaiyekan, Archbishop of Abuja, Nigeria

 

The South African present were Bishop Mike Vorster (Christian), Merylene Chitharai (Hindu Youth), Saydoon Nisa Sayed (Islam)

[Cardinal Napier Christian, Mama Ela Gandhi Hindu and Aisha Mpondo Islam] were invited. All three were not available {Paddy Meskin – did not attend}

 

17 October –               PRE-ASSEMBLY

African Women of Faith Network (AWFN) and African Youth Network (IYN)

Saydoon Nisa Sayed (Islam) South Africa and Sr. Agatha Chikelue (Christian) Nigeria were elected Co-Chairs of AWFN.

One of the Co-Chairs is part of the executives of ACRL, and I have been nominated

The ACRL Executives meet twice (2x) a year

 

Merylene Chitharai has been elected to the International Youth Network, Hindu/Female.

 

All 3 of us were part of the facilitators /moderators in the programme

 

18 October  -               GENERAL ASSEMBLY

 

19/20 October -          FAITH WORKS AFRICA: PARTNERSHIP FOR PEACE AND PROSPERITY

 

THEMATIC AREAS

Conflict Prevention, Mitigation and Countering Violent Extremism

Good Governance and Combatting Corruption

Food security

Extreme Poverty and Health

 

ISSUE BASED CAUCUSES

Child Protection and Well Being

Women Empowerment

Small Arms and Light Weapons

Humanitarian Assistance

 

NB: When the full report becomes available I will pass on a copy

 Peace and Grace

Bishop Mike Vorster