Justin Welby joins Tony Blair in Nigerian launch of inter-faith youth dialogue: The Church of England Newspaper, November 29, 2012 December 5, 2012Posted by geoconger in Church of England, Church of England Newspaper, Church of Nigeria, Interfaith, Islam.
Tags: Justin Welby, Tony Blair, Tony Blair Faith Foundation
The Archbishop of Canterbury-designate has joined Tony Blair and Prince Ghazi bin Muhammad of Jordan in launching an inter-faith initiative in Nigeria to promote reconciliation between Christians and Muslims.
On 22 Nov 2012, Bishop Justin Welby took part in the conference in Abuja organized by the Tony Blair Faith Foundation that brought Christian and Muslim students together. “By talking directly to one another, the aim is to break down barriers, and give the students the knowledge to resist extremist voices and ideology by working together to achieve long term peace for the next generation in Nigeria,” conference organizers said.
“Thirty four years after first coming to Nigeria, and with more than seventy visits since in all parts of this vibrant, passionate, talented and promising country, I am both challenged and profoundly excited by this initiative,” Bishop Welby said.
“It is a service, there is no question of bringing some external solutions, and peace and development in this country are always made possible only by Nigerians. Thank you for allowing me to contribute to the future of a country I admire and love,” he told the young people participating in the gathering.
Christian and Muslim leaders welcomed the dialogue between young people, while Mr. Blair said personally “deeply committed to addressing the challenges of religious reconciliation in Nigeria. Understanding and respecting different faiths is central to securing sustainable peace, particularly where those who seek to misuse religion for violent ends aim to destroy it.”
He lauded the work of Bishop Welby also, saying he hoped “that over the coming months, the work he and my Foundation do will go towards healing the rifts and divisions amongst faiths in the country, bringing unity and peaceful co-existence”.
First printed in The Church of England Newspaper.