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Interfaith Programs

New Interreligious Association Introduced in Zambia

Zambia-2017-12-15-New Interreligious Association Introduced in Zambia

Lusaka, Zambia—A preliminary meeting for the inauguration of the Interreligious Association for Peace and Development (IAPD) has taken place in Zambia.

Twenty-eight participants attended the event at the Golden Peacock Hotel, nominating the 10 interim committee members needed to start running the association in Zambia. The leaders of most of the major religions in the nation attended the December 25, 2017, meeting.

In his opening remarks, Bishop David Masupa, the chair of the board of the Independent Churches of Zambia and the chairman-elect of IAPD, thanked all the religious leaders for managing to attend the meeting on short notice.

During these last prophetic days, he said, religious leaders should work together to address the critical challenges of our times. As an example, he mentioned the intensifying conflict between Israel and Palestine. He also referred to the small country of North Korea, which today threatens the much larger United States. What would happen if these two countries started exchanging fire? Bishop Masupa asked. All the countries in Africa would be affected as well.

Reminding the participants that the followers of the various faiths all were created by one God, the bishop urged the religious leaders to acknowledge and respect all brothers and sisters of differing faiths and not make them sway from what they believe in.

He spoke of the importance of forming a religious forum that could speak on behalf of all religions with one voice. In this modern world, he said, it is not healthy to introduce yourself based on your religion. He assured the audience that there was no agenda to indoctrinate any member into another religion.

Bishop Masupa emphasized that, for matters of peace and morality and strong family values, no matter what one’s religion is, we must stand as one.

Bishop Masupa then invited Bishop John Mambo, the chair of CIVIL Society Constitution Agenda, to say a few words. Bishop Mambo said that in Zambia religious leaders have been late to form their interreligious group. He gave an example of the members of parliament and the traditional chiefs. It is for that reason they had elected Bishop Masupa unopposed as the vision carrier. However, in that meeting an interim committee was going to be elected for the vacant office bearers to forge ahead in love and unity.

Finally, he mentioned that the religious leaders representing all sectors of different faiths in Zambia would be included in the interim committee. After that he invited all the participants to introduce themselves, starting from the high table.

After all the participants had introduced themselves, Bishop Masupa read and explained the resolution that was made in Seoul during the International Leadership Conference.
He congratulated all the participants for attending the meeting at such short notice. Finally, he thanked all for their cooperation and time. He said: “Your coming here is not in vain. It is the beginning of adding your voice to many voices all over the world that are working for peace, and your voice is very important.

“We have resolved to overcome major tendencies that may be relayed within religion, and are ready to promote dialogue, mutual respect, cooperation, that we may effectively work to resolve the critical challenges of our time: poverty, hunger, corruption, injustice, environmental degradation, family breakdown, abuse of women and children, and conflicts and violence.”

He ended his speech by appreciating Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon and her late husband, Rev. Dr. Sun Myung Moon, for establishing the organization that promotes peace for all humankind. Bishop Masupa promised that the remaining ten vacancies in the interim committee would be filled before the official inauguration of the IAPD in Zambia.

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