Pope’s Document Inspires “week of human fraternity” at Kenya-based Catholic Institution

Poster announcing the Week of Human Fraternity
Credit: Institute of Religious Dialogue and Islamic Studies (IRDIS)

The 2019 Document on Human Fraternity for World Peace and Living Together by Pope Francis and the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, Sheikh Ahmed el-Tayeb, has inspired a five-day event to be held at the jointly-owned Catholic University College in Kenya.

Dubbed the “Week of Human Fraternity,” the event has been slated to take place from February 22 at Tangaza University College (TUC), the Nairobi-based Catholic institution jointly-owned by 22 religious orders where students and faculty from over 40 countries interact.

TUC’s Institute for Interreligious Dialogue and Islamic Studies (IRDIS) is spearheading the initiative.

In his Friday, February 19 message shared with ACI Africa, IRDIS Director, Fr. Innocent Maganya, says the planned events for Week of Human Fraternity include “a series of webinars by scholars from Kenya and Europe reflecting on the idea of universal fraternity, book launches, and concrete activities promoting better understanding amongst all believers.”

On the first day, February 22, a webinar session focusing on the Introduction to Pope Francis’ most recent Encyclical Letter, Fratelli Tutti and its relevance for dialogue has been planned, Fr. Maganya says.  

On the same day, the leadership of IRDIS, an Institute that facilitates learning about dialogue between various faiths of the world, will facilitate an exhibition on World Religions at TUC. 

Also known as the Abu Dhabi Declaration, the Document on Human Fraternity for World Peace and Living Together arose from a discussion between Pope Francis and the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar.

The Abu Dhabi Declaration inspired Pope Francis’ Encyclical Fratelli Tutti.

The Abu Dhabi Declaration document has inspired the UN’s declaration of the International Day of Human Fraternity celebrated annually on February 4.

The Abu Dhabi Declaration of Human Fraternity and its Historical Precedence is the envisaged focus for second day of the five-day event, the member of the Society of Missionaries of Africa (MAfr.) says in his February 19 statement.

The theme selected for third day, Fr. Maganya says, is a deliberation on Fratelli Tutti and the Abu Dhabi Declaration from a Muslim perspective for the morning and the Universal Brother- Life and spirituality of Brother Charles de Foucald for the afternoon.

Books on Religion and Violence, contributions from Social Sciences and Theology on an Urgent Issue, and Arabic for are to the launched on the same day, February 24.

On February 25, a training on Interreligious Dialogue as Space for Women’s Representation and Collaboration has been scheduled

The week of Human Fraternity is expected to climax with the third edition of the Conference on Religions and Gender, to take place under the theme, “Interreligious Dialogue as a Space for Women’s Representation and Collaboration.”

Last year, the Conference on Religions and Gender was guided by the theme “Religious Minority Rights and (Inter-)Religious Literacy from a Women’s perspective.” 

The Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD) and Germany’s Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) are partnering with TUC’s IRDIS to realize the five-day initiative that is expected to conclude February 26.

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ACI Africa was officially inaugurated on August 17, 2019 as a continental Catholic news agency at the service of the Church in Africa. Headquartered in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, this media apostolate will strive to facilitate the telling of Africa’s story by providing media coverage of Catholic events on the African continent, giving visibility to the activities of the Church across Africa where statistics show significant growth in numbers and the continent gradually becoming the axis of Catholicism. This is expected to contribute to an awareness of and appreciation for the significant role of the Church in Africa and over time, the realization of a realistic image of Africa that often receives negative media framing.

Father Don Bosco Onyalla
Editor-in-Chief, ACI Africa
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