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5 April - Esther Kazilimani-Pale - Interfaith peacemaking

Over the last three years, bishops from Cabo Delgado in Mozambique have sought advice from the Archbishop of Canterbury on how to deal with ongoing violence between Muslims and Christians in the region. Previously, faith leaders had made efforts to encourage dialogue between different groups involved in the conflict but without success.


Our bishops also asked the President of the Council of Anglican Provinces of Africa to write to all of the bishops in Africa to request they communicate with their governments to exert their influence to try and resolve the conflict. Among others, the Archbishop of Southern Africa wrote to the President of South Africa on this issue.


The Church got in touch with the Christian Council of Mozambique and the Catholic Church in Mozambique. Together, these organisations decided to get in touch with the Islamic Council of Mozambique, as for centuries the Islamic and Christian community has lived together and intermarried. The Islamic leadership were welcoming towards the Christian organisations and together they formed the ‘Peace Group’, chaired by the Bishop of Nampula. This group works with young people to discuss peace, peaceful values and how to achieve peace in a conflict situation. The Peace Group also distributes food, as displaced communities require food, water and shelter.


With the help of the Archbishop of Canterbury’s office, the Church in Mozambique was able to start conversations with Total Oil, the biggest investor in oil and gas in Northern Cabo Delgado.  The Church hoped that Total would get involved with the community and invest in social response. This engagement led to Total supporting community projects with the promise of funding more initiatives in the community.


The engagement of the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Islamic Council of Mozambique has been a great learning experience for the Church in Mozambique. Working together across religious boundaries has encouraged me that we are all serving One God.

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