Photo Credit: Patrick Joubert / Seychelles News Agency
The Standing Committee of the Anglican Church of the Indian Ocean has designated September as a month of prayers of intercession, dedicated to the national unity of the three countries that constitute the Province. Members of the Standing Committee met at Antananarivo, Madagascar, last month, under the presidency of the Church’s Primate, Bishop James Wong Yin Song. “We . . . wish to reaffirm the prophetic role of the Church who is called to be an instrument of peace and justice,” they said in a communiqué at the end of their meeting. “We wish to express our will to work so that the Church can awaken more the consciousness of the people of the Indian Ocean islands which is constantly agitated by winds of insecurity, instability, the degradation of morals and the political, economic, environmental, social and family corruption.”
They said: “This awakening of the consciousness is essential because every man, woman and child constituting our respective societies have the right to a life which is in conformity with the values of the Good News of Jesus Christ. These values require that all, regardless of their political, regional, ethnic, religious and cultural affiliation, have the right to live in a society that ensures the personal and social development of those who constitute it.
“The Church has this responsibility, without interfering in political life, to encourage and mobilise the lifeblood of our respective societies and believers to develop a much more proactive approach in consolidating a prosperous and prosperous future, for the present and future generation of the people of our respective Republics.”
The communiqué addressed particular issues within the three nations of the province.
In November and December, Presidential elections are due to be held in Madagascar. The Standing Committee communiqué said that “It would be appropriate, therefore, for those who wish to be empowered to govern Malagasy society to be deeply imbued with the desire to serve. Our Lord Jesus Christ has, time and again, by his example of life and his words, emphasised the importance that for the good of all we cannot serve ourselves. . .
“It is nevertheless regrettable to note that very often those who aspire to hold the supreme power of the country do not succeed in fulfilling the will of the people because it is possible to lose sight of the commitment made to the progress and development of all the people. Personal and family interests often darken good intentions and hinder the primary desire to serve and work for all to live in dignity that honours everyone without distinction.”
In Mauritius, the Standing Committee took note of a recent report by a Commission on Drugs, which found that police, lawyers and senior politicians, including a government minister, were had links with drug traffickers. In their communiqué, the Standing Committee expressed their surprise “by the scope of this scourge which endangers the whole functioning of the Mauritian society.”
It said that the lack of vigilance and concrete actions had, through greed, created a corrupt mentality in the country. “A creeping materialism infected by an excess of greed comes to erode the values of mutual respect and responsibility that are necessary for a development with a human face,” the communiqué said.
In the Seychelles, the church leaders welcomed the establishment of a Commission of Justice, Truth and Reconciliation to examine serious crimes committed against its people, including family disappearances, acquisition of land and illegal detention. “However, we want to call on the forces to ensure that the criteria and parameters established are duly respected and that there is no interference.”
They said that they wanted the work of the Commission to repair relationships and provide national reconciliation, saying: “this is crucial for the integrity of the entire nation.”
They conclude their communiqué by saying: “We want God’s dream for all humanity to be realised in this part of the world. May the grace of God make us capable of transforming the dehumanising situations we experience every day into more humane achievements that do honour and glory to God. . .
“Be assured of our prayers and unwavering support when it comes to honouring the dignity of every human being.”