The Archbishops of Canterbury and Westminster have expressed their support for a church-led peace campaign being launched today in the Great Lakes Region of Africa.
Archbishop Justin Welby and Archbishop Vincent Nichols sent prayers and solidarity to regional Catholic and Anglican Churches as they embark on a year-long campaign to promote peace and reconciliation.
For over 20 years, violence has traumatised the people of Burundi, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. War and conflict across the three countries has led to millions dead and many more displaced.
In a joint letter to regional church leaders, the Archbishops said: ‘We would like to join our prayers with yours that your celebrations today be a positive first step in this special year-long process of promoting peace and reconciliation for all.’
The Catholic and Anglican Churches in the region created the initiative following a recent visit to the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales and to Lambeth Palace.
In their letter the Archbishops also urged priests and religious faithful across the region to support the initiative. ‘We would like you to know just how much your courage and dignity is admired by those of us who have followed your trials and tribulations over the past twenty or more years.’
The Great Lakes Peace and Reconciliation initiative is being launched today in Goma (DRC) before crossing the border into Gisenyi (Rwanda)