ANGOLA: We Must keep the spirit of Reconciliation Bishops Urge Citizens

LUANDA NOVEMBER 13, 2015(CISA)-Episcopal Conference of Angola and São Tomé (CEAST) has urged Angolans to continue with the peace and national unification process for a better nation.

In a pastoral letter published on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of national independence from Portugal, the bishops recalled that, “they have gone from war against the colonizer to civil war, with heavy foreign interference” and called on the citizens to learn from the history, Fides reported.

“Now that the Country has finally found peace (after 2002), it should be noted that peace and reconciliation is a task and a vital horizon that requires continuous work,” said the bishops.

“Therefore we are learning to renew our mentality, stripping it of all evils and prejudices that put us against each other; we are learning to respect the rights and dignity of others; we are consolidating national unity and encouraging the patriotic spirit; finally, we are building a real Angolan family, in the diversity and beauty of its cultural mosaic. For this task Angola needs all its sons and daughters, without exclusion or discrimination of any kind,” the bishops added.

The bishops noted that the Citizens need to play their role so that the fruits of independence are permanent and fully appreciated by all.

Among the problems the government need to address, noted the bishops are narrowing the gap between the extremely rich and those who are extremely poor; promote the right to freedom of conscience, of assembly, freedom of association, demonstration, expression and information, guaranteed by the Constitution, so that citizens are able to exercise a responsible and participatory citizenship.

The clerics added that the government also needs to improve basic and professional education “to overcome the darkness of ignorance and obscurantism that hold entire communities trapped in their oppressive beliefs.