By: IRD Communication Team
Christian faithful from St. Joseph Ukunda Parish were privileged to participate in a training on nonviolence held at their parish hall.
The training attended by 25 participants was organized and facilitated by the Interreligious Dialogue Commission (IRD) of the Catholic Archdiocese of Mombasa, with an aim of highlighting the role and responsibility everyone has in interfaith dialogue in the context of preventing and countering violent extremism.
Violent extremism is understood as beliefs and actions of people who support or use violence to achieve ideological, religious or political goals.
Therefore, the work of the IRD Commission in bringing people of different faiths together, also focuses on encouraging solidarity in spreading the message of peace and unity in society.
In her presentation, the interreligious dialogue Projects Officer, Sr. Lucy Kamau, introduced the topic of ‘nonviolence’ and defined it as a powerful tool in addressing societal issues.
“Nonviolence is both a principle and a practice. I therefore appeal to each one of you to stay away from all sorts of violence and be an agent of peace in the society,” she said.
It became clear that the principle of nonviolence affirms the active use of non-coercive and non-aggressive means to help build a more harmonious and peaceful society.
Also, it is everyone’s responsibility to play a role in reducing violence in society.
Furthermore, the interreligious dialogue Civil Peace Adviser, Maya Schmitt, introduced the topic ‘principles of nonviolence’. Participants learned how closely these principles relate to the principles of the interreligious dialogue.
The group also discussed possible ways of advancing reconciliation and coexistence in society.
One participant, Paul Mwangi, has been a beneficiary for about two years, he says that he has attended several workshops organized by the IRD commission to ensure sustainability in his faith as a Christian.
“Through the interreligious dialogue commission I have learnt how to share information from the community on the needs of different services, also through IRD I have learnt how to live with people of different faiths and am still looking forward to learning more” he said.
“When most people think that they cannot go on any longer the IRD commission has always been there to give them strength they need to keep moving forward through their programs that aims at bringing the society together, I am so grateful for the good work they’re doing,” he added.