Interfaith Action for Peace in Africa wins global recognition

By agency reporter
December 2, 2009

Interfaith Action for Peace in Africa, an organisation formed in 2002 which brings together representatives from African Traditional Religions, Baha'is, Buddhists, Christians, Hindus, Muslims and Jews, has been named the recipient of the Paul Carus Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Interreligious Movement by the Council for a Parliament of the World's Religions.

The award ceremony will be held at the 2009 Parliament of Religions on International Night, 5 December 2009, at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre. The historic fifth Parliament event in Melbourne, Australia runs from 3-9 December.

IFAPA, the acronym by which the award-winning group is best known, "models in a creative way, the peace-making potential of the growing interreligious movement," said Rev Dr William E. Lesher, Chair of the Council's Board of Trustees.

"The organization is comprehensive, representing the major religions of Africa and also geographically significant with a continent-wide reach and concern," he said.

IFAPA's most public activity has been in the area of conflict resolution, having sent interfaith delegations to Liberia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, North and South Sudan and Togo over the last decade. Other IFAPA activities include a women's project called, "A Mother's Cry for a Healthy Africa," and a water project in rural Rwanda.

Dr Ishmael Noko, General Secretary of the Lutheran World Federation and a founder of IFAPA will receive the award together with four IFAPA representatives: Dr Faroug El Bushra Abdel Gadir, Secretary General of the Sudan Interreligious Council; Robert Hounon, Secretary of Vodun Hwendo Tradition, Benin; Prabhundas Pattni, General Secretary of the Hindu Council of Africa and Lucretia Warren, Baha'i Community of Botswana.

The Carus Award is given in memory of Dr Paul Carus, a world-renowned scholar, writer and publisher in the fields of religion, philosophy and science. He was a key figure in the introduction of Buddhism to the West and a prominent organizer of the first Parliament of the World's Religions in 1893 in Chicago, USA.

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