On Saturday 12 September, the main religious leaders in Benin responded to the invitation by the Community of Sant'Egidio to live alongside each other the spirit of Assisi in communion with the International Meeting of Prayer for Peace of Tirana.
Present at the meeting were the Secretary General of the agreement framework of the religious confessions of Benin, the President of the Association of Endogenous Religions, of "Religions for Peace - Benin" (RPP), the representatives of the Methodist Church, of the Orthodox Christians, of the Archdiocese of Cotonou and many other lay associations and of civil society.
From the many interventions it is clear that cohabitation must be possible and that we must not, under any circumstances, be resigned to war and violence. The leaders present at the "Dream House" of the Community of Sant'Egidio stated unanimously that "peace is always possible" and that those that kill in the name of God are not true believers.
In particular, the Imam of the Central Mosque of Calavi said "those of Boko Haram are not Muslims as a Muslim does not kill; God said: he who kills a man kills the whole humanity".
In this spirit of revolt against violence and war the different religious representatives reiterated their support for the initiative of the Community. All finally prayed for Peace in Benin, especially in this tumultuous eve of the presidential elections, but also for peace in the whole world. The ceremony ended with the signature of the Appeal for Peace and the launch of the dove as a sign of peace and blessing for all peoples.
The event received wide media coverage, with the presence of two television stations, the radio and journalists.