Mindanao: hundreds of Christians and Muslims together for interfaith dialogue
Zamboanga (AsiaNews) - In its annual meeting this coming week-end in Zamboanga (Mindanao), the Silsilah dialogue movement will focus on the peace process between the government and Muslim extremists as well as the training of Muslim and Christian leaders to fight poverty in tribal areas.
For Silsilah founder Fr Sebastiano d'Ambra, a missionary with the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions (PIME), the two-day event will bring together some 300 people from the across the predominantly Muslim island, including, "for the first time, Christian and Muslim members from Manila," the clergyman said.
Silsilah members will use the occasion to renew their pledge to spread the spirit of peace and interfaith dialogue in their respective communities, which are often embroiled in family, religious and ethnic feuds.
"Our movement," Fr d'Ambra said, "is based on the idea that God is the source of all dialogue. Silsilah offers a life of dialogue with everyone, Christians, Muslims and Tribals. It is aimed at young people who through our initiatives learn to trust and love one another through shared experiences in harmony, solidarity and peace."
The meeting will start this Saturday with a big dinner at Harmony Village and will continue with discussions on current affairs, like the recent agreement signed by the Filipino government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front to set up an autonomous government in Bangsamoro.
On Sunday, plans for the Harmony Village Festival in February will also be presented.
This year's meeting is dedicated to Marilou Diaz-Abaya, a Silsilah member but also a filmmaker known across the country for her work in favour of Christian-Muslim dialogue who passed away on 8 October after a long battle with cancer. (S.C.)