Young people from all corners under various faith denominations in the DRC have been urged to keep and pray for peace and unity in the Democratic Republic of Congo. This call was made by the Vicar General who represented the Bishop of Mahagi – Nioka Diocese at the Inter religious prayer day for peace and unity on 27th, August 2022 at Centre des Jeunes Mgr Marcel Utembi-Tapa (CDJ). The event which was organised under the theme Together, let us be conscious of the importance of peace and unity in our country the Democratic Republic of Congo was attended by different confessions of faith among which included Roman Catholic Church, the Islamic Community of Mahagi, the Seventh day Adventists, Evangelical Churches, Pentecostals, Anglicans, Independent churches, Orthodox, and Jehova witness among others. The event was also graced by a number of government officials like the Administrator of the Territory of Mahagi (Authority Military), who was delegated, the police commander and other security personal. Some Chefs like the Majesty of Walparara, was equally represented.
Delivering the bishop’s message, the Vicar General, Monseigneur Emmanuel UWACGIU who was the Guest of Honour informed the participants of the event, especially the youth, of their obligations to pray and promote peace among humanity and also observe unity.
“This event is the first of its kind and we are grateful that it has been successful. We encourage all the youth to engage in life skilling activities such as music, tailoring, computer literacy among others. This is because once a mind is idle, the devil gets a chance to control some of your decisions and actions that might bleed disunity and disharmony in a community. These activities are available at the youth centre so I encourage young people to embrace these programs and improve your livelihoods.” He said.
The event that started at the Mahagi territory head offices with the Congolese national anthem, then an opening prayer led by the Imam of Mahagi. This was followed by a walk (match) for peace in Mahagi Town guided by the band and was concluded with a series of activities that included; Signing a “white peace cloth,” to show the engagement of each and every one towards working for peace, watering of “the tree of reconciliation” that was planted in the premises of the youth center three years ago. It was to symbolize the need to have peace flourish in DR Congo, taking care of such peace is an activity all humanity. Other activities of the Interreligious prayer day for peace and unity included theatre, music and drama, poetry and traditional folk song. All these pieces of art and creativity were aimed at promoting reconciliation, peace and unity in the region.
Fr. Anthony Nahabwe who is the director of the Youth Centre expressed his gratitude to the benefactors and the participants of the event, since almost all religions in Mahagi were represented. In his remarks, he observed that there is a need to work together in different religious denominations as a tool to promote reconciliation, peace and unity. He further reminded the participants to relay the message of peace to the rest of the communities. The idea to meet as people from different religious denominations was to achieve one goal which is peace, which is a Divine Command. This clearly means peace is for everyone and is needed by everyone.
“The youth should follow and imitate Jesus Christ, hence God’s call to Peace. We shall not only pray but also we should work for peace. We have to look for ways that will keep us busy, cultivating peace in our lives rather than distracting ourselves with useless things that destroy our lives, future and society.” Anthony added.
Anthony re-echoed the message of peace in the words our lord Jesus Christ used. I leave you peace, My peace I give you. The same phrase was underlined by the pastors of the Anglican Church and the Seventh Day Adventists. They meant to emphasize that Christ himself left us with his peace and therefore we should not misuse this gift in our lives by causing hatred and instability among the people of God. He encouraged young people to emulate the life and deeds of Jesus Christ.
To create employment opportunities, Anthony informed the participants that the youth center has provided a platform for young people to develop their talents. These include Library for studies, Computer studies, Music Studies, Tailoring studies, English language Course. Young people are encouraged to make use of these platforms so as to better themselves and develop a skill that will help them create jobs for themselves.
Zoe De Sion who represented the Administrator (AT) of Mahagi wished for peace to prevail in Mahagi territory and Ituri province at large. He equated it to a haven of peace with a contagious effect like a virus on the whole extent of the Republic. He called upon the people of Mahagi to understand that peace is everyone’s business and therefore all people should put their hand in one plate for the materialization of this true peace. He further made the same comment as other day’s speakers that this event which has happened for the first time should not stop today but rather be an annual event.
The Inter-religious prayer day was then launched and confirmed as an annual event in the diocese of Mahagi-Nioka. This will promote unity as members under different denominations will always gather and pray for various intentions of their communities and for the entire world. This year’s Inter-religious prayer day was organized “Centre des Jeunes Mgr Marcle Utembi -Tapa (CDJ) in collaboration with le Cercle des Jeunes leaders pour la paix et le developpement (CJLPD) mainly praying for peace and unity and this event pulled twenty members from each denomination that participated in the event.
The Democratic Republic of Congo has been under political turmoil in the recent past, especially in the North Kivu province and Ituri province and this has greatly affected the economic, political, and social development of the country. It is against this background that the organizers of this event so it noble to call upon people to pray for peace and unity in their own country.

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