Promoting Peace and Reconciliation in Nigeria
Project Code: 141-07-49
Nigeria is going through a time of trial and horror, and not only since the attacks by the Islamist terror group Boko Haram. For years now, a succession of conflicts has torn this vast West African nation apart. Thankfully, among ordinary people there is a longing for peace, and the Catholic Church, is doing everything in her power to promote this peace and reconciliation.
During the second Africa Synod, Pope Benedict XVI emphasized the immense importance of strengthening peace, justice and development in Nigeria. To help, Father Michael Oyedare, who has responsibility for the Bible apostolate in his diocese, and Bishop Emmanuel Badejo of the Diocese of Oyo are organizing training workshops for the lay pastoral workers who do so much to ease the burden on the 39 priests of the diocese.
Within the Diocese of Oyo, there are 45,000 Catholics, among a population of 2 million Muslims. Most of the Catholic faithful earn their living as peasant farmers or harvest workers on the citrus, maize, yam, cassava and cocoa plantations of the region. Their earnings come to at most $9 a day, barely enough to survive on. Many of the faithful "really do their best," as Father Michael insists, but it is important, he believes, to strengthen the community leaders in their faith and train them to engage in interreligious dialogue so that they can be "good ambassadors for the Church." The idea of the workshops is to equip the participants to do just this.
Since the diocese itself has very few resources, Father Michael and Bishop Emmanuel have turned to ACN for financial support. We have promised a contribution of $6,500 for the practical implementation of these workshops. Will you give to promote peace and reconciliation in Nigeria?
This project is an example of our work. Your donation will be attributed either to this or to another similar project that accords with the pastoral needs that ACN witnesses.