CHRISTIAN-MUSLIM RELATIONS IN AFRICA
It seems more important than ever for the Christian church to foster intentional ecumenical and interfaith partnerships. The Programme for Christian-Muslim Relations in Africa (PROCMURA) is a pan-African Christian organization that was started in 1959 to build good relations between Christians and Muslims. It brings together communities of faith, in spite of their differences, to work together for justice, peace, and reconciliation.
Countries in Africa are advised to stay secular, says the Rev. Dr. Joseph Mutei, Programme Director of PROCMURA. “There is so much fighting happening these days, and religion has been the most divisive factor here, aside from economic factors.” While this is not unique to Africa, it is evident there that education is a key tool in fostering good relations for Africans. PROCMURA has partnered with St. Paul’s University in Nairobi, Kenya, to create a Master of Islam and Christian–Muslim Relations program. Mutei has a strong conviction that religious education such as this will lead to a deeper understanding of each other’s beliefs. He says, “education should be the foundation of what is happening around the country of Kenya and the continent of Africa.”
A visitor listening to the students in this program was moved by their enthusiasm for engaging in work they hoped would help others understand Christian–Muslim relations. Canadians have much to learn from this organization. We give thanks for the United Church’s partnership with PROCMURA through Mission & Service.
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