IFAPA History – EMBRACING THE GIFT OF PEACE (part 1)

Inter-Faith Peace Summit in Africa
14-19 October 2002, Johannesburg, South Africa

“EMBRACING THE GIFT OF PEACE”

The Johannesburg Inter-Faith Peace Declaration
Adopted by consensus, this day, 17 October 2002,
at Benoni, near Johannesburg, South Africa

A. Preamble

We, representatives from the African Traditional Religion, the Baha’i Faith, Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, and Judaism, from different parts of Africa, and gathered in Benoni, near Johannesburg from 14-19 October 2002, hereby commit ourselves to embracing the gift of peace and to genuine inter-faith dialogue and cooperation for peace in Africa. We make this commitment inspired by the teachings and/or the norms of our respective religions, and by the United Nations International Decade for a Culture of Peace and Non-Violence for the Children of the World (2001-2010), but especially because our religious traditions urge us to do so. We believe that peace is possible in Africa.

Africa is a continent of faith. Religious beliefs and values are a central feature of the daily lives of African people, families and communities. African traditional beliefs, values and practices have a powerful impact upon our patterns of life and social interaction, as do the beliefs, values and practices of the many religions that have flourished on African soil.

Africa is also a continent of hope, courage and determination. The struggle of the African people for liberation and independence, for example, in the fight against apartheid in South Africa, shows that Africans can turn their continent round for the better.

We commend the efforts of the Lutheran World Federation in convening this Summit, and the efforts of those who contributed in different ways to make the Summit a success. We pray that the fruit of this effort will be lasting peace and understanding in Africa.

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