22 December 2021, The Tablet

Africa bishops use Christmas messages to plead for peace and justice

by Francis Njuguna in Nairobi-Kenya

Africa bishops use Christmas messages to plead for peace and justice

Protesters march during a rally from Khartoum North to Omdurman against military rule following last month's coup, in Khartoum.
Reuters/Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah

Catholic bishops in Africa have opted to use this year’s 2021 Christmas and 2022 New Year messages to express their deep concern over some of the challenges facing the continent today.

A quick sample on the challenges show that they are edged on dialogues among the countries affected by conflicts, peace and unity building as well as the need to promote reconciliation among the conflict-affected countries.

In Chad for example, the bishops have the zeroed in the need for effective dialogue among the in-fighting political parties in the country.

“The demand for an inclusive national dialogue by the majority of Chadians expresses their desire to change the dark page of their history and to look to the future with optimism,” the Catholic prelates have stressed.

In the country, the sitting Government has witnessed a sharp political differences with the Opposition political parties in the country.

“For many of our fellow citizens, the process of inclusive national dialogue represents a great hope for ensuring lasting peace in our country,” said the bishops, adding: “The failure to listen to the voices of certain social strata reinforces the concerns of Chadians and the skepticism of some civil society leaders.”

In Sudan, Bishop of the Catholic Diocese El Obeid in his December Christmas and New Year message called upon the people of God under his pastoral care to pray for the realisation of peace and justice in the country.

Bishop Yunan Tombe Trille Kuku noted that Christmas in Sudan is to be celebrated in the context of “the third year of the continuous revolution”, referencing the third anniversary of the start of the protests that toppled Omar al-Bashir.

In Burkina Faso, some displaced Christmas some refugees are reported to have recalled their past Christmas celebrations with notable nostalgia, the many joys that went with this grand annual celebrations.

This is before the militants in the country uprooted them from their homes, forcing them to seek refugee elsewhere.

The country has for quite some time witnessed several cases of political upheavals, leading to the killings of people, displacement of several people, while others fleeing the country as refugees.









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