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March 26 2014 | ROME, ITALY

Meeting at Sant'Egidio between Andrea Riccardi and the religious leaders of Central Africa

The participants were the Archbishop of Bangui, the chief Imam and the president of the Alliance of the Evangelical Churches, all of them committed to forgiveness and reconciliation in the Central African Republic

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Archbishop of Bangui Dieudonné Nzapalainga, chief Imam Kobine Layama and the president of the Alliance of the Evangelical Churches of Central Africa, Nicolas Guerekoyame-bangou have worked together to strengthen religious harmony and restore peaceful cooperation in the Central African Republic. They met this morning prof. Andrea Riccardi, founder of the Sant'Egidio Community, under whose auspices in September they signed an appeal for peace and national reconciliation that then merged with the "republican pact". This appeal was appreciated by the Security Council of the United Nations, with which the living forces of the nation were involved in the defense of the democratic framework and human rights and the promotion of the values of the Republic.

Andrea Riccardi spoke of the activity of the three religious men as "a sign of hope for your country, because  the seed for the future of the Central African Republic is in friendship and closeness between members of different religions". "The seed of peace is sown" Bishop of Bangui assured, and the plant will grow powered by the fraternity between Muslims and Christians. We must learn to live together as brothers, united in diversity, in welcoming and in the respect between each other".

Speaking of the work done along with other religious leaders, imam Kobine Layama said: "We want to break the mistrust between our communities through education and the school, to strengthen the integration of all communities in the country and to build a new generation who share the same social cohesion”.

Pastor Guerekoyame - Gbangou focused on issues of justice, forgiveness and reconciliation that are fundamental in a country that has been torn by tribal fights and has a large number of internally displaced persons and refugees. "We need to encourage the disarming of our hearts - he said - because, otherwise, the war will not stop".


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