Congress on dialogue with Islam
Organized by the OFM Service for Dialogue, the “Congress on Dialogue with Islam in Africa” is currently taking place from February 18-22, 2013, in Nairobi (Kenya). Together with the members of the Service for Dialogue are also the Secretaries of Mission of the OFM African Conference. Two speeches have been heard at the Congress: The first one by Fr. Joseph Stamer, of the Missionaries of Africa (White Fathers), and the second by Br. Gwènolè Jeusset, OFM, of the Fraternity of Istanbul.
P. Stamer gave a speech on the reality of Islam in Africa, its configuration, history and development, paving the way for the evangelization of Africa in the face of new challenges. Br. Gwenole presented a reflection from the beginning of the Franciscan charism in dialogue with Islam until it blossomed in the “Spirit of Assisi”, the Fraternity of Istanbul, and the presence of missionary witness among Muslim peoples, while offering convictions and courses of action in the Order.
Also, at the Congress several brothers shared their experiences in their mission of dialogue within Muslim-majority nations (Morocco, Egypt, etc.) and in sub-Saharan Africa. A Muslim shared his experiences through a guided and friendly visit to a Mosque. They visited some of the Religious Communities and Religious who live in openness to dialogue and the Franciscan Fraternity of Langata, a formation house for simple profession of the Province of St. Francis in Africa (Nairobi).
Along the lines of mandate 28 of the General Chapter of Assisi in 2009, the objective of this meeting is to indicate guidelines for the formation and mission in dialogue of the Friars Minor. This is to be done in accordance to our missionary vocation started by St. Francis and continued uninterruptedly throughout history by many brothers. Furthermore, it seeks respond to the challenges of the “new evangelization” in the African context, where dialogue is not only a state but an evangelical spirituality, in order to hasten the peace and justice of the Kingdom of God to the soul of the African people, in communion with the Church.