GHANA: Episcopal Conferences of West Africa to Work with Governments to Tackle Religious Extremism

ACCRA MARCH 1, 2016 (CISA) – West African bishops have expressed solidarity with countries in the region affected by persistent terrorist attacks during the just concluded second West African Catholic Bishops’ regional plenary assembly in Accra, Ghana.

In a statement sent to CISA, the bishops stated that violence perpetrated by extremist groups such as  Boko Haram has left “serious wounds and fractures on our people.”

“There is still a lot to be done, but we are committed to uniting with our respective governments to ensure the return of peace among our people,” read the statement by the bishops.

The prelates identified insecurity and terrorism as a primary pastoral concern especially in the West African countries of Nigeria, Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, Cameroon and Chad.

“We reiterate our deep sympathy to the families bereaved by terrorist attacks, the Christian communities persecuted as well as countries affected by these barbaric acts,” they said.

The bishops further commended the government of Nigeria and the regional governments who have rallied around to rout “this terrible cancer which has destroyed our communities.”

During the week long assembly February 22 – 29, the bishops discussed various issues affecting the people of West Africa including; important role of the youth as agents of peace and reconciliation, traditional and cultural means of conflict management and politics as a tool for development, peace and justice.

Interfaith dialogue, political developments and democracy in the region, and the Church and its mission of evangelization were also discussed during the meeting which was under the theme, “The New Evangelisation and the Specific Challenges for Church, Family of God in West Africa: Reconciliation, Development and Family Life.”

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