Justice and peace in Nigeria and in Sweden

by Adebayo Anthony Kehinde last modified 10 October 2016 04:38 PM

11 March 2016

As a youth leader of The Church of the Lord (Prayer Fellowship) Worldwide, I am currently on a journey to Switzerland and Sweden to explore the ecumenical landscape on behalf of our church and also to learn firsthand about the work of the Church of Sweden. Journeying together can be a practical way for churches to engage in the Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace which invites member churches of the World Council of Churches and all people of goodwill to speak and act together in our continued search for peace in our troubled world.

Mobilizing religious resources for peace is important to me because I see the constant religious tension in my country. I fully understand that the best way of ensuring peace is engaging our religious diversities in a positive manner, being true to the highest and best of our faith commitments and translating them into practices and programs that help build peace in the world. That's what I have committed myself to work for, individually and with my church.

My church's Peace, Justice and Empowerment Movement contributes to the Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace with a long term peace building and training project for interfaith peace builders. This long term cycle of action, reflection and grounded learning has already yielded powerful lessons for the way we work to build peace.

On my ecumenical pilgrimage to Sweden I seek to study the work of the Church of Sweden on behalf of my Church organisation as well as to discuss future collaborations between the two churches.

We currently respond to many issues such as promoting Peace Building and Interreligious Harmony, Justice and Good Governance, fighting Gender Based Violence, Small Arms Proliferation, and addressing Climate Change and Care for Creation; all these concerns also clearly find expression in the current efforts of the Church of Sweden.

Visits to refugee camps and hearing about the Church of Sweden's efforts regarding the current refuge crisis in Europe will also allow us to compare notes regarding the issue of the internal displacement, which has affected many members of our church in Northern Nigeria.

This is a pilgrimage that preaches togetherness and churches joining hands. Sharing experiences will inspire us to continue to promote a more visible unity of the Church and fulfil our calling from God that all may be one.

As a passionate young ecumenist, I go on this visit in order to deepen my ecumenical orientation and learn firsthand about the role that young people are playing in the work of the Church of Sweden while also opening new frontier of engagement between our two youth organisations. It will be a practical demonstration and new dimension to the Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace which also seeks to provide visibility of how young people are playing an active role on this pilgrimage.

Disclaimer

The impressions, hopes and ideas expressed in this blog are the contributions of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or policies of the World Council of Churches.

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