Local Baha'is in Cameroon organize interfaith discussion for UN Day

24 October 2002

BUEA, Cameroon — In commemoration of United Nations Day, the local Baha'i community in Buea organized an interfaith discussion on world peace on 24 October 2002.

Sponsored by the Local Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of Buea, the discussion featured speakers representing Baha'i, Christian, Hindu and Islamic perspectives.

The speakers all stressed the importance of religion in contributing to peace, putting a special emphasis on the need for religious tolerance.

The Reverend Father Alosius Ituka Ndifor, secretary to the Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Buea, said that peace begins from God, because God is peace and this can transcend all of mankind if people open their hearts.

"We do not refuse the right to be different, but difference should not be the cause of strife," said Father Ndifor. "The church is all of you, a source of inspiration for people to forge their own destiny."

Auztaz Mohammed Aboubakar, the Muslim Imam of Buea, suggested that there are seven qualities which should prevail in a society for there to be peace: brotherhood, freedom, faith, morality, equality, piety, and righteousness. In the absence of these, he said, "there is a social alienation of people which is a condition of peacelessness."

Stella Siri Fuh, the Baha'i representative, said one path to greater peacefulness would be for the followers of all religions to follow the Golden Rule. Ms. Fuh noted that the Golden Rule is present in the fundamental teachings of every religion, and, if widely applied, "would make the world a better place to live."

There were a number of expressions of appreciation to the Baha'is for organizing the event. Imam Aboubakar said specifically, "I want to thank our Baha'i brothers for organizing this very important meeting. I hope they will continue to do this."

Jules-Marcel Mondeng, permanent Secretary General of the South West Province, added: "I am grateful to the Baha'is for thinking of organizing such an occasion. No society can be happy without peace. We need peace in the world, in Cameroon, but of course also in Buea. I think the panelists have done a good job. Religious bodies have to do much in the education of people for peace."