Monday 9 February 2015

Nigeria - Marco Impagliazzo visits the Nigerian communities

The president of the Community of Sant’Egidio, Marco Impagliazzo, has recently visited the communities who live and work in Nigeria, as well as the DREAM center managed by the Saint Vincent De’ Paoli Congregation in Abuja. 

The visit was inspired by the desire to be even closer to brothers and sisters who, like millions of other Nigerians, live in fear and insecurity because of the terrorist activity carried out by the fundamentalist movement Boko Haram. 
The whole world was overwhelmed with horror following the attacks in Paris and the other tragic episodes which are at the center of the international media’s attention. On the other hand there was less press coverage of the terror that afflicts several African countries, among them Nigeria, and the participation to the suffering borne by these populations is weaker. 
This should not be the case according to Sant’Egidio. The presence of Marco Impagliazzo at the side of the Nigerian communities was, and is, a statement of how, if a limb of the body suffers, all the limbs suffer with it, and that the whole Community prays and hopes for peace
and the full restoration of interreligious coexistence.
The response of the Schools of Peace of the Community in Nigeria and elsewhere was particularly meaningful. The Schools of Peace are truly places dedicated to the education to coexistence as well as to the accompaniment of younger generations to peace. They are the way to defeat the terror and the war not with weapons but with the practice of respect and friendship, the expansion of one’s horizons and the building of a shared conscience and future. Children and young people of all religious persuasions study and walk together, week after week, attesting to the fact that peace is possible, that peace is the future.
In the course of his visit, Impagliazzo listened to the representatives of the Community in Nigeria describe the bloodshed and the spreading of a culture of contempt and hatred. He was also able to experience first hand the courage and the confidence of young people who refuse to give in to resignation and pessimism and who intend to continue on the path of the “three Ps” - prayer, poor and peace - set forth by Pope Francis in his visit to Sant’Egidio this past June 15.

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