As part of our ongoing efforts to support the people of the Central African Republic (CAR), on January 7, the State Department hosted an interfaith dialogue connecting religious leaders in the United States with religious leaders in CAR to spotlight their inspiring efforts to promote peace, reconciliation, and social cohesion.
Religious leaders in CAR described their efforts to end the ongoing violence, thanked the United States for its assistance and efforts, and called for further international humanitarian and security assistance in CAR. The American religious leaders noted examples of successful interfaith cooperation in the United States and pledged further collaboration with their counterparts. Both sides agreed to continue their discussion and to work together to increase education and training on reconciliation and peacebuilding and to seek opportunities to support the travel of religious leaders to CAR to support peace and interreligious cooperation.
His Grace Dieudonne Nzapalainga, Archbishop of Bangui; Imam Omar Cabinelayama, President of the CAR National Islamic Association; Reverend Nicolas Geurekoyame, President of the CAR Evangelical Association; Catherine Samapanza, Mayor of Bangui; and other community leaders participated in the online video conference from Bangui, CAR. Imam Mohamed Magid, President of the Islamic Society of North America, and Stephen Hilbert, Foreign Policy Advisor to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, joined me in Washington, D.C. for the dialogue, which was moderated by Arsalan Suleman.
You can watch a video of the dialogue here: http://youtu.be/5Glo7CRbqOU.
About the Author: Rashad Hussain is the U.S. Special Envoy to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation.