The Eglise Anglicane du Burundi (Anglican Church of Burundi) reports on the recent solidarity visits to the country by Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, the World Council of Churches and its general secretary the Revd Dr Olav Fykse Tveit, and the All Africa Conference of Churches.
Reconciliation, a Way of Healing
[Anglican Church of Burundi] During his visit at the beginning of March the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby met with the President of Burundi, Peter Nkurunziza. After an audience held in Kayanza in the northern part of Burundi, the Archbishop said that they had had an honest and fruitful discussion. It was an opportunity for Archbishop Justin to talk about the necessity for reconciliation for the people of Burundi.
Speaking to national and international journalists, Archbishop Justin said that the situation in Burundi is serious and there needs to be a real commitment to reconciliation. He stressed that reconciliation doesn’t mean the absence of disagreement, but involves forgiveness and inclusive dialogue. That dialogue must include women and children since they make up the majority of victims of the crisis.
Archbishop Justin also expressed concern about the critical economic situation and said that Burundi needs to be supported. “When I visited some parts of Bujumbura and up country, I saw how people are facing the challenge of poverty”, said Archbishop Justin. He said that he will contact people who might be able to contribute to the relief of the current situation in Burundi.
Ecumenical Service for Peace in Burundi
Christians from different denomination gathered at Holy Trinity Cathedral for an ecumenical service for peace in Burundi.
The Anglican Church hosted the service and was honored to welcome a delegation led by the Archbishop of Canterbury, one from the World Council of Churches (WCC) and another from the All Africa Conference of Churches (AACC).
The WCC general secretary, the Revd Dr Olav Fykse Tveit, said that the purpose of the visit was to express solidarity with the Church in Burundi and to encourage the efforts of those who are seeking and working for sustainable peace in the country.
In his sermon, the Archbishop of Canterbury mentioned that Christians are constantly facing challenges and crises that test their faith. Speaking about the present situation in Burundi Archbishop Justin said that Christians need to plant a seed of love in their hearts that is nurtured until it bears the fruit of reconciliation with others.
After the service, the delegations met with members of the Government, members of political parties and religious leaders.