Photo : PCI training on Nonviolence in South Sudan
Where the Spirit of the Lord is present, there is freedom (2 Cor 3:17)
Pax Christi International, together with its 40 member organisations in Africa, welcomes the visit of the Holy Father Pope Francis to Africa. This long-awaited pastoral visit by Africans takes him to the DRC (Kinshasa) and to South Sudan (Juba):
Because of its natural wealth, the DRC has been ravaged by wars supported by a few neighbouring countries in complicity with the great powers and multinationals for decades, causing millions of deaths, displaced persons, and refugees. South Sudan, since its independence in 2011, has been a victim of inter-ethnic/tribal conflicts and internal wars, causing thousands of deaths and displaced people and refugees.
In these two countries, Pax Christi International and its network members are implementing the training programme “Empowering the new generations on active non-violence, and peacebuilding“. This training programme focuses on youth in parishes and educational institutions on active non-violence, reconciliation, trauma healing, peace building and youth entrepreneurship.
PCI also has a specific programme to strengthen the religious sisters’ capacities on active nonviolence, reconciliation, trauma healing, and peace building; as a way for them to learn methods and tools to help traumatized populations, victims of violence, whom they welcome and accompany in their apostolate. Recently it was published a PCI-PC Africa partners’ Documentary on hope and peacebuilding in Africa.
The Pope comes to Africa as a pilgrim who brings the message of nonviolence, reconciliation, and peace. He reminds us that it is from the heart that peace and development are possible. Pax Christi International deeply supports Pope’s words in Kinshasa, deploring the new form of economic colonialism enslaving Africa and, in the DRC, where natural wealth makes the Congolese, foreigners to their own country and victims of imposed wars. “Stop suffocating it, because Africa is not a mine to be exploited or a land to be plundered” he said.
Pax Christi International invites its members and all nonviolent people to unite in prayers to support this trip of Pope Francis, that his presence in the DRC and South Sudan will touch all hearts and especially those of people who are often manipulated, forced to commit acts of violence. May there be a profound change in attitudes, behaviour, and actions in favour of peace, brother/sisterhood and peaceful coexistence. The Active Nonviolence is a way of life, a spirituality, a force that promotes harmony and right relationships amongst the human family, and a method for change.