Tuesday, 29 November 2011

MINDANAO WEEK OF PEACE: UNITED FOR PEACE


“Common word between you and us: Love of God and Love of Neighbor” – the theme of this year’s Mindanao Week of Peace originated from a famous letter written by 138 Muslim religious leaders and scholars from all over the world on October 13, 2007. They addressed the letter to Pope Benedict XVI and other leaders of the Christian faith. It was a call for peace and harmony through inter-religious dialogue. They quoted the Prophet Muhammad who had addressed the “people of the Scripture” concerning a “common word between us and you.” That common word consisted of faith in the One true God, Love of God and love of neighbor.

The reaction by Christians to the 2007 letter was unprecedented. “Common Word” discussions, conferences, dialogues sprouted in many parts of the world. Pope Benedict XVI invited Muslim leaders to a gathering at the Vatican. On November 4-6, 2008 the 1st Catholic-Muslim Forum was held in Rome on the “common word”: “Love of God and Love of Neighbor.” The forum is now held every two years and it involves inter-religious dialogue at the highest level between Catholic and Muslim leaders.

I was invited by the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace to represent the Asian Bishops at the 25th anniversary of the World Day of Prayer for Peace in Assisi, Italy on 27 October 2011 For 25 years this gathering of Christian and Muslim Religious leaders from different parts of the world organized by the Pope has been a significant collaboration of different religions to contribute to world peace on the basis of their own religious traditions.

I believe that one can truly say that “Common Word” and the Assisi event express a common conviction that faith is at the service of peace and harmony.
Let me cite only a few examples of the declarations towards peace articulated by various representatives of different beliefs:
From the President of the Lutheran World Federation: “We commit ourselves to proclaiming our firm conviction that violence and terrorism are incompatible with the authentic spirit of religions.”

From the Metropolitan Patriarch of Moscow: “We commit ourselves to fostering the culture of dialogue.”
From the President of the Muslim Ulama and Mashaik Council of Pakistan: “We commit ourselves to frank and patient dialogue, refusing to consider our differences as an insurmountable barrier.”

From the Vice Supreme Patriarch of Teravada Buddhism in Thailand: “We commit ourselves to taking up the cry of those who refuse to be resigned to violence and evil.”
From an Atheist Representative: “We will make every effort to ensure that believers and non-believers in reciprocal trust can live out the shared quest for truth, justice and peace.”

Pope Benedict XVI summed up the many declarations by echoing the words of Pope John Paul II: “Violence never again! War never again! Terrorism never again! In the name of God, may every religion bring upon the earth Justice and Peace, Forgiveness and Life, Love!
A common quest, a common commitment, and a foundational common word for peace – that is the meaning of the Mindanao Week of Peace.
+Orlando B. Quevedo, O.M.I.
Archbishop of Cotabato

''The truth might be hard to say, painful to bear or even drastic for the truth sayer but still needed to be said''. ALISON.

Friday, 25 November 2011

Jos crisis: one of the questions that the nation has failed to answer by Alison

www.reuters.comAn Italian journal called ANSA.IT reports of a recent break out of violence in the central part of the nation. The journal talks of an impressive number of people killed yesterday, 24 November 2011, in a city, formerly known as a land of peace and tranquillity, Jos[1]. The journal continues by explaining the effort of the government in bringing to term this last violence between the two greatest religious confessions in the nation. The government, the journal explains, seeing the gravity of the situation declared a 24 hours of no movement in the area.
The question that continue to reoccur to many Nigerians, including my humble person, is whether the problem of Jos is beyond the government or the government takes joy in seeing her citizens destroy themselves by brutal and incessant killing of one another? Why has nothing been done to bring to an mayhem? If really the reason of their fighting is religious, as we are always made to believe, why have the religious leaders not been able to bring to order their followers? Have they really control of their followers or not?
But seeing the effort of most of the religious leaders, I start to think that Jos problem has to be revisited. It should be re-examined from another perspective. It should be giving, I think, first, sociological analysis to understand why life between people who ordinarily used to share the same land area, people who have practically grown together, just at a moment start to kill each other.
It should also be giving anthropological approach in other to understand why because of their relationship with God, if eventually the reason is religious, (though God will never want anyone to fight for him), the citizens find it difficult to relate peacefully. And if eventually the reason is religious, then the problem becomes more complex for how come that people worshiping the same God should kill each other if they believe in God at all?
In fact, something is wrong somewhere and those in charge of this people have a serious question to answer. They have to say why the situation continues worsening everyday and every moment? Who are responsible for this massacre? Who sponsors the crisis? Who have done what to redeem the situation and why has it not had a positive effect?
The problem of Jos crisis is not just the massacre but the inability to find out the reason behind the crisis; the inability to bring to table those sponsoring the crisis and why they do so.

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Nigeria, il petrolio scorre dove la Terra sanguina (Nigeria, oil flows where the land bleeds)

AMBIENTE. Esce oggi il dossier di Crbm (Campagna per la riforma della Banca mondiale) sul devastante impatto delle multinazionali petrolifere che operano nel Delta del Niger. Non solo Shell ma anche Eni, attiva nel Paese da oltre 40 anni.
Amnesty International, Campagna per la riforma della Banca Mondiale (Crbm) e Aktivamente promuovono stasera dalle 20,30 al cinema Aquila a Roma una serata-evento dedicata ai diritti umani e all’ambiente nel Delta del Niger. Si tratta della regione della Nigeria più ricca di petrolio, ma anche la più povera e degradata dal punto di vista ambientale. Video e fotografie racconteranno il devastante impatto delle multinazionali petrolifere che operano nella regione: non solo il ruolo svolto dalla Shell, finita sul banco degli imputati per la drammatica vicenda dell’uccisione di Ken Saro Wiwa e diversi casi di grave inquinamento ambientale, ma anche quello di Eni, attiva in Nigeria da oltre 40 anni. Il programma della serata prevede: letture di brani e poesie di Ken Saro Wiwa e Nnimmo Bassey, proiezione video di Oil for nothing, girato da Luca Tommasini, e di Poison fire, di Lars Johansson Maweni. Verrà presentato inoltre il rapporto “Il Delta dei veleni” redatto da Crbm, di cui vi proponiamo un estratto in anteprima.
“Dal 2009 qui non vive più nessuno. Inesorabile, la maledizione del petrolio ha colpito anche questa comunità dell’Ogoniland. Ovvero uno dei territori dell’immenso Delta del Niger, dove l’anglo-olandese Royal Dutch Shell ha iniziato a trivellare nel 1958, quando la Nigeria era ancora una colonia britannica alla faticosa ricerca della sua indipendenza (poi raggiunta nel 1960). A segnare per sempre il destino di Goi sono state le perdite dell’oleodotto (la Trans Niger Pipeline) che attraversa la regione fino all’isoletta-terminale di Bonny, dove il greggio viene processato prima di essere esportato in tutto il mondo. Un terribile giorno del 2004 un tubo vecchio di decenni non ha resistito più all’usura del tempo, crepandosi e versando così nello specchio d’acqua accanto al quale era sorto il villaggio il suo carico funesto, che ha finito per infettare la splendida natura del luogo.
Gli alberi e le piante si sono ammalate, i pesci sono morti, la terra si è impregnata di una sostanza oleosa che ne ha minato la fertilità. Visitando quei luoghi, sembra di rivivere in prima persona le immagini che ciclicamente le televisioni di tutto il mondo mandano in onda quando si spezza lo scafo di qualche petroliera. Qui di sversamenti ce ne sono stati altri, nel 2008 e nel 2009, ma di opere di bonifica non se n’è vista nemmeno l’ombra. “Nel 2005 abbiamo fatto ricorso a un tribunale dell’Aja contro la Shell perché reputiamo che sia la condizione dell’oleodotto e non fantomatici casi di sabotaggio, come sostiene la compagnia, ad aver causato l’incidente” ci spiega Eric Dooh, uno dei capi della comunità di Goi. Qui suo padre dava lavoro a oltre 200 persone, tra l’impresa ittica e il panificio. “Adesso non c’è più nulla da pescare e l’acqua e la legna che usavamo per il panificio sono contaminate. Nessuno ci ha risarcito per il danno economico che abbiamo subito, anzi, come tutti gli altri ce ne siamo dovuti andar via".
Source: http://www.terranews.it/news/2011/11/nigeria-il-petrolio-scorre-dove-la-terra-sanguina

''The truth might be hard to say, painful to bear or even drastic for the truth sayer but still needed to be said''. ALISON.

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

The Pathetic Life Of A Teenage Mother by CHIKA MEFOR


Chinenye, they called her. Interpreted as: ‘’It is the Lord that giveth’’ was rejected by those who gave birth to her. Her narrative is a story like many other teenagers, in Nigeria. It touches the heart and sends tears down the cheeks of those who come to know about her plight. Chika Mefor was with her and she told her story.
I am from Enugu State and the first child of my parents.  I was born out of wedlock. My mother’s people refused to allow my father marry my mother. They had a case against my daddy, I was told: he had no money. My mother left me and went back home to her people. I have never seen her in my life. I don’t even know what she looks like. I had hoped against all hope that she will one day come back to see that baby she had had but she never came.
I had to stay with different relations as I grew up. My father married another woman or should I say impregnated another woman. She gave birth to her first child that died and then to a second one, that was when the woman’s family told my father to come and pay her bride price or they would take her back with them. My father hurriedly gathered some money and went to pay the woman’s bride price. That was how I came to have a step mother. The relation I was staying with then felt that my father had someone to take care of me and brought me back to my father. I returned to my father’s house when I was nine.
I was happy to return to my father’s house then because I had wanted to know my father and receive his love, the way my other siblings had. Then my stepmother had three. But I was to learn later that my journey to the house of so many relations had just begun.
My step mother saw nothing good in me. Everything I did was wrong: the way I washed the plate, the way I washed the cloth and even the way I looked after my other siblings. I was like an outcast in my own father’s house. It was so bad that my father sent me to stay with his sister in Onitsha. He said he wanted to have peace in his own house so for him to have peace, he sent me away.  I lived with her for two years. In her house, there was no peace. She and my father had this sibling rivalry which was directed to me. She threatened to send me back to my father at any slightest provocation. I knew that one day, something would explode between them which will send me packing. It did after two years and I was sent back to my father. I lived with my father and his wife for another year. I accepted everything that happened as part of my life. I resigned to fate which had dealt me a big blow and had got me born to a home where I was not wanted.
I thought all hope was lost until my father’s sister who was married to a Yoruba man during the Biafra war came to our house. She saw the tension between me, my father and his wife and decided to take me to Ogun State.
I left with her to Ogun State which was where she was living with her husband. There I will say I found peace for the first time in my fifteen years of existence. My aunt and her family cultivated large amount of cassava which she processed and sold wholesale. It was a lucrative business for her. I joined her in her trade.
There I met Adebayo. He worked in a company close to my aunt’s house. He told me that he liked me and we started going out. When my aunt noticed what was going on, she told me to stop seeing him. ‘’Men can be dubious,’’ she said. ‘’They are not to be trusted.’’ But I refused to listen to her. I went on seeing Adebayo because I believed he was different. He said he loved me and when he heard the story of my life, he wept with me and told me that he would never reject me as my family did. But the story changed when I became pregnant. When I told Adebayo, the man who had professed his undying love for me, he ran away. When my aunt noticed my condition (I had tried to hide it for some weeks) she went with me to Adebayo’s house and we were told that he had moved out. We went to his place of work and were told by the manager that Adebayo had resigned the previous day. I was left on my own. That world I had thought had decided to be fair to me came crashing on me. I had become a burden to my aunt and her family.
I gave birth to my son at the age of eighteen. My aunt tolerated me for some time after the birth but one day she informed me that she was taking me back to my father in the village. I pleaded with her to allow me stay with her but all my pleas fell on deaf ears. She had made up her mind. Her husband and his people had started saying all sorts of things about me.
She said she had had enough.
I was bundled back home together with my son. I left home alone but came back with a child. When I got back home, it was the same old story again. I was met with my stepmother’s bickering. Because of the baby I brought home, my daddy joined his wife to make my life unbearable.
One morning, I made up my mind to move out and go back to Lagos where I had found a little happiness. I picked my bag and my baby. Nobody stopped me, reminding me yet again that no one cared for me.
I am twenty now and my baby is two. I am all alone. And I am still waiting for God to remember me and tell me that it wasn’t a mistake for me to be brought to this world. I am waiting and still waiting and hoping that one day, my life and that of my son will be whole and someone would give me that love I deservedly need.
Source: http://www.blogger.com/post-create.g?blogID=4062524157605873947

''The truth might be hard to say, painful to bear or even drastic for the truth sayer but still needed to be said''. ALISON.

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Cameroun : le révérend "rebelle" Bertin Kisop aux arrêts Par Armelle Nya, à Limbé


Candidat recalé à l’élection présidentielle du 9 octobre dernier, Bertin Kisob avait revendiqué une fusillade au pont du Wouri à Douala, le 29 septembre 2011. Mais aussi l’assassinat de deux gendarmes dans la péninsule de Bakassi, le 9 octobre, sous la bannière de l’Armée de libération du peuple camerounais.
Les leaders autoproclamés de l’Armée de libération du peuple camerounais (ALPC) ne répondent plus au téléphone. Les fidèles de l’église Maatiste dont Bertin Kisob était le pasteur-fondateur, n’ont plus revu ce dernier depuis plus d’un mois, et n’ont aucune nouvelle. Son père, John Kisob, colonel retraité de l’armée camerounaise, accuse le coup après avoir été brièvement interpellé suite aux déclarations de guerre de son fils.
Bertin Kisob s’est fait passer pour un révolutionnaire après l’attaque du pont sur le Wouri à Douala, le 29 septembre dernier. Une fusillade suivie de la découverte d’une grenade dans les locaux de la représentation d’Elections Cameroon à Limbé, à 60 kilomètres de Douala, puis par l’assaut ayant abouti à la mort de deux gendarmes dans la localité d’Isanguele à Bakassi le jour du scrutin présidentiel qui a vu Paul Biya réélu. Kisob se disait déterminé à « mettre un terme au long règne de Paul Biya et instaurer la démocratie au Cameroun ».
L'armée embarassée
Une source militaire confirme que « Bertin Kisob est effectivement aux arrêts depuis début novembre ». Les responsables de l’armée contactés se montrent plutôt embarrassés, mais finissent par reconnaître que « personne ne peut défier l’autorité de l’État, provoquer l’armée, prôner l’insurrection, et rester impuni. Où est donc détenu le chef de l’ALPC ?
À en croire une source à l’Etat-major des armées à Yaoundé, ce serait « probablement à la base du Bataillon d’intervention rapide (BIR) à Man’o War Bay Limbé ». Au sein du commandement de la police, tout comme à la gendarmerie, aucun responsable n’accepte de s’exprimer sur l’affaire. « Le moment venu, le gouvernement va communiquer sur ce qui se passe avec ce soi-disant pasteur rebelle », affirme un collaborateur du gouverneur de la région du Sud-Ouest.
Depuis l’annonce de l’arrestation de Bertin Kisob par le quotidien Le Jour, silence radio du côté du gouvernement. À Limbé comme à Douala, les sources proches de l’affaire affirment qu’elle relève du « secret défense », tout en précisant que « l’intéressé subit les interrogatoires conduits par des spécialistes ». Il s’agit en réalité d’obtenir de Kisob qu’il précise « ses motivations, donne les noms de ses commanditaires et des complices s’il y en a ».
Source : http://www.jeuneafrique.com/Article/ARTJAWEB20111117191454/cameroun-rebellion-terrorisme-bakassicameroun-le-reverend-rebelle-bertin-kisop-aux-arrets.html

''The truth might be hard to say, painful to bear or even drastic for the truth sayer but still needed to be said''. ALISON.

Monday, 21 November 2011

Join Fr. Thomas Rosica in this exclusive interview with one of America's great religious leaders, Cardinal Francis George, OMI, Archbishop of Chicago. During his tenure as President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Cardinal George earned the reputation of thinker-in-chief. A philosopher, theologian, and pastor with a great missionary spirit, Francis George offers reflections on some of the pressing challenges before Catholics in North America today.
Source: http://saltandlighttv.org/witness/cardinal-francis-george.php

''The truth might be hard to say, painful to bear or even drastic for the truth sayer but still needed to be said''. ALISON.

The Auxiliary Bishop of Abuja Archidiocese.


Vatican City (Agenzia Fides) - The Holy Father Benedict XVI on November 8, 2011 appointed Auxiliary of the Archdiocese of Abuja (Nigeria) Rev. Fr. Anselm Umoren, M.S.P, Superior General of the Society of Missionaries of St. Paul, assigning him the titular see of Scampa.
Rev. Fr. Anselm Umoren, M.S.P, was born on April 14, 1962 in Ukana Nto, Ikot Ekpene, Awka Ibom State, in the diocese of Ikot Ekpene. After primary school, he attended his secondary school at the Minor Seminary Queen of Apostles, in Afaha Obong, Abak. He became a member of the Apostolic Missionaries Society of St. Paul; he continued his studies in philosophy and theology at the National Missionary Seminary of St. Paul, Gwagwalada, Abuja. He was ordained a priest on June 18, 1988.
After ordination, he has held the following positions and carried out further studies: 1988-1992: Teacher at the Formation house of Iperu-Remo, Nigeria; 1992-1995: Missionary in the Diocese of Kenema, Sierra Leone; 1995-2001: Missionary in diocese of Buea, Cameroon; 1995-2003: General Counsellor; 2003-2005: Master in Development Studies at Kimmage Development Studies Centre and Master in International Peace Studies at the Irish School of Ecumenics in Dublin, Ireland; 2006-2008: Missionary in the Diocese of Torit, Sudan; 2003-2006: Project Manager. Since 2008, he has been Superior General of the Apostolic Missionaries Society of St. Paul's.
(SL) (Agenzia Fides 08/11/2011)
Source: http://www.fides.org/aree/news/newsdet.php?idnews=30278&lan=eng

''The truth might be hard to say, painful to bear or even drastic for the truth sayer but still needed to be said''. ALISON.