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Malawians March For Religious Tolerance, Peace

By MphatsoNkuonera

United Religious Initiative -Malawi (URI) has called on religious leaders and its membership to be tolerant with other religious beliefs for them to counteract conflicts that emanate from religious misunderstandings.

URI –Malawi interfaith marchers joined the rest of the world in a marching activity day on Sunday, September 22, 2019 by holding two marches in NKhudzi Bay- Mangochi and Kasinje–Ntcheu districts.

The march, which was under the theme “Interfaith Marching for Peace and Justice, Window of National Solidarity Hope” attracted participants from various religious beliefs and local leaders.

Interfaith Development Officer, Geofrey Manasseh told Malawi News Agency (Mana) that marchers were seeking all Malawians to join hands in the fight against religious and political violence which he said are intertwined.

“We believe to see positive change and it’s our deep wish to see Malawi taking the right direction in valuing peace and justice at all levels.

“As interfaith marchers, we are actively seeking like-minded partners who want to push back against extremism, violence and intimidation while promoting the principles of equal justice and religious liberty for all.

“In totality, we condemn violence at places of work, worship, businesses and city complexes which seem to thrive in our country,” Manasseh said.

Under the banner of URI with support from Institute for Tolerance, Peace and Justice (IRTPJ), the march shows solidarity among people of diverse faith traditions across the globe.

Sheikh John Said of Kasinje in Ntcheu and Pastor Blessings Mbewe of Glorify Christ Church in Mangochi where the marching took place hailed the organisers for demonstrating for peace and described the event as timely.

“We are happy to join other players in the country who are spending sleepless nights pushing for peace following the political impasse after the May 21 elections,” said Sheikh Said.

Speaking on the sidelines of the marching, Nicholas Mndala and Janet Kazimu of Mwanyama Village in Traditional Authority Nankhumba in Mangochi stressed the need for Malawi to embrace peace through touting for unity despite holding different allegiances in both religious and political affiliations.  

The Interfaith Marching for Peace and Justice was founded in 2017 by a small group of organisers in Columbus, Ohio, and was originally organised to affirm religious freedom and equal justice after an increase in hate crimes and acts of intimidation in the American State.

URI’s purpose is to promote enduring, daily interfaith cooperation, end religiously motivated violence and create cultures of peace, justice and healing for the earth and all living beings.-MANA

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