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UEM International Interreligious Peace Conference in Zanzibar

At the press conference on 14 September in Stone Town, the clergymen present stressed the importance of networking and cooperation between local interfaith peace initiatives from their point of view. The participants (from left): Rev. Lusungu Mbilinyi, Pastor Jochen Motte, Bishop Augustin Shao, Sheikh F. Soraga, Father Nuhu, Father Mushi. (Photo: Kambale Kahongya/UEM).

The second international interreligious peace conference of the United Evangelical Mission (UEM) for peace and inclusive communities will take place from 20 to 23 September 2019 in Stone Town on the Tanzanian island of Zanzibar. More than 70 representatives of churches, Muslim associations, Jewish communities and Buddhist clergy are expected to attend the meeting.

The conference was prepared by the Lutheran Church in Tanzania, the Anglican and Roman Catholic Churches as well as representatives of the Muslim community, who have been working closely together for many years in the interreligious cooperation project "Zanzic".

At a press conference on 14 September in Stone Town, the clergymen stressed the importance of networking and cooperation between local interfaith peace initiatives from their point of view.

They thanked UEM that, after the first interreligious peace conference took place in Germany in 2017, the peace initiative is now being continued on the African continent in a place where Islamic and Christian cultures have left their mark for centuries.

Jochen Motte, member of the UEM board and responsible for the program, emphasized for the UEM church communion: "Joining forces against extremism and violence is an urgent task. This is especially true against the background of the attacks on a mosque in New Zealand in March of this year with 51 dead and in April on churches and hotels in Sri Lanka with more than 259 murdered.”

Lusungu Mbilinyi, tutor of UEM in Wuppertal, who himself worked for many years as a pastor in Zanzibar, and Kambale Kahongya, head of the program "Peace and Human Rights" in the regional office of UEM in Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania, expect from this conference, that the actors for peace and against extremism and violence from the churches and Muslim communities in Africa are strengthened in their work and the participants from other regions are inspired by meetings and impulses from the experiences in interreligious peace work on Zanzibar.

The participants of the conference will set a common sign for a peaceful coexistence of religions and against violence and extremism in a public event on 23 September 2019 at Donge Garden/Darajari in Stone Town.

As cooperation partners, the Evangelical Church of Westphalia, the Evangelical Church in the Rhineland and Justitia et Pax are involved in the peace conference.

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