Aid to the Church in Need, 13th June 2023 (excerpts)
An interreligious dialogue and peace initiative is being launched, aiming to end armed violence in northern Mozambique. It seeks to resolve tensions caused by the militant insurgency which has killed more than 4,000 people and displaced about 1,000,000 in the Cabo Delgado region since 2017.
Father Eduardo Roca, a priest and project partner of Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need, founded the Interreligious Centre for Peace in Pemba Diocese, which is overseeing the initiative, in 2017.
He told ACN: “The Catholic Church is … engaged and seriously committed to do whatever it can for the peace negotiations.”
This commitment already exists “at the religious level, but also at the academic level and among the local communities”.
Events planned include “meetings with some 50 leaders of Muslim and Christian organisations to study and promote the Document on Human Fraternity for World Peace and Living Together”.
He added: “We are encouraging parish priests to create interreligious groups and provide training in the northern districts to promote dialogue and create bridges for people to meet in safety.”
Mozambique’s Episcopal pastoral letter in November 2022 signalled that Church’s involvement in the peace process for Cabo Delgado.
The Church is well-placed to advance the dialogue, with a presence on the ground and contact with the remotest communities.