Interfaith Dialogue Conference in Morocco: Nun Advocates for “effective global attention”

Sr. Agatha Ogochukwu Chikelue who was speaking during the opening of the June 13-15 Parliamentary Conference on Interfaith Dialogue: Working Together for Our Common Future in Marrakesh, Morocco. Credit: Courtesy Photo

“More than any other continent, Africa is carrying the greatest burden of the world's social vulnerabilities,” a Nigerian Catholic Nun participating in the ongoing Parliamentary Conference on Interfaith Dialogue: Working Together for Our Common Future in Marrakesh, Morocco, has said.

In the light of the burdens Africa is enduring, Sr. Agatha Ogochukwu Chikelue who was speaking during the opening of the June 13-15 conference, advocated for effectiveness, saying, “Africa needs effective global attention to her overwhelming problems and these for the ultimate good of our entire human family.”

Sr. Agatha highlighted some of the challenges the people of God in Africa are subjected to, including “the high level of conflict, insecurity, poverty, human rights atrocities”, adding that these challenges are contributing to a “slow development” of the continent.

“Salvaging the universe must begin by investing more on addressing vulnerabilities for sustainable peace,” the member of the Congregation of Daughters of Mary Mother of Mercy (DMMM) who serves as Chair of the Religions for Peace International Women’s Coordinating Committee said during her Tuesday, June 13 address.

She cautioned against complacency and inaction amid the challenges the people of God in the world's second-largest and second-most populous continent are enduring.


“As we foresee heavy clouds of impending tempest looms over our beloved mother earth,” Sr. Agatha said, “We cannot just sit back complaining or merely waiting for the worse to happen; we must find ways to work together for our common future.”  

The Nigerian Catholic Nun who was speaking at the start of the conference, which the Inter-Parliamentary Union and the Parliament of Morocco organized in partnership with Religions for Peace, the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations, and the Mohammadia League of Religious Scholars appealed for “sincere dialogue” for peace across the globe. 

She said, “Managing the world's fragile peace means engaging in several evidence driven interventions, including sincere dialogue.”

Sr. Agatha who also serves as the Executive Director of Cardinal Onaiyekan Foundation for Peace (COFP) noted that “the responses to numerous violent conflicts should be tailored to the specific realities and context of the conflicts and the environment.”

She further said, “Religion remains a significant component but must not work in isolation, rather with other key components, especially with governments and their parliaments.”

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Religions for Peace plays a significant role in creating “a beloved community where conversations emanate from faith, justice, equality and respect for human life and rights,” Sr. Agatha said during her June 13 address.

She explained that with Inter religious councils present in over 90 countries of the world and in six regions, Religions for Peace “catalyzes and promotes multi-religious collaboration for the common good.”

The three-day conference that has members of parliament, religious leaders and representatives of civil society organizations in attendance is expected to foster constructive dialogue and provide a forum for exchange on best practices for resolving the main problems hampering sustainable peaceful coexistence.

In her June 13 address, Sr. Agatha underscored the need for “proper synergy” between legislators and faith-based leaders in fostering sustainable peaceful coexistence and the common good.

“One of the major works of parliamentarians is to make laws and policies for the state but if there is no proper synergy between the parliament and religions, much may not be achieved.” The Nigerian Catholic Nun who also serves as the Co-Chair of the Nigerian & African Women of Faith Networks said.


She added, “Dialogue of common action becomes most important. We must insist on offering spaces for interaction and dialogue in making laws and policies with a human face.”

Jude Atemanke is a Cameroonian journalist with a passion for Catholic Church communication. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of Buea in Cameroon. Currently, Jude serves as a journalist for ACI Africa.