Pope Francis in Africa: what should be on his agenda?

时间:2019-08-29  作者:晏耽忒  来源:电子艺游网址  浏览:196次  评论:12条

Pope Francis makes his this week, starting on Wednesday when his delegation will visit Kenya, then Uganda and the Central African Republic.

During the five-day trip the pope is expected to deliver public masses, meet religious and political leaders and promote a message of reconciliation and unity.

But concerns have lingered over whether his visit to Central African Republic (CAR) will go ahead. The country is currently embroiled in a between the predominantly Muslim Séléka rebel coalition and Christian government forces.

His visit there – where he will in the capital, Bangui – will make him the first pope to travel to an active war zone, .

Speculation over what the head of the Roman Catholic Church can achieve with this visit is being hotly debated online. From escalating religious tensions to pushing for LGBT equality, here are a few of the common themes being discussed.

Religious tensions

Christian militias in CAR have carried out attacks during the ongoing conflict, leading some people to question whether the pope’s visit could in fact escalate religious tensions.

Peter Fabricius, a security consultant at the South African-based Institute for Security Studies, that the pope should have planned a joint visit with a Muslim leader.

“It is a pity that Francis does not have a Muslim counterpart who could partner him on his missions of peace and reconciliation among religions,” he said.

“Nevertheless, by his highly active and increasingly visible political interventions around the world in the name of peace, reconciliation and mercy, may just still be inspiring and emboldening the leaders of other religions to follow his example.”

In , members of the militant Islamist group al-Shabaab killed 147 people at Garissa University College, allowing Muslims to go free but killing those who identified as Christian.

Kenyan blogger Daniel Ominde other areas with his message of peace. “Frequent terror attacks in Nairobi, Mombasa and most recently Garissa University significantly drove down Kenya’s earnings from [tourism], the sector which was for a long time the country’s biggest foreign exchange earner.

“It is my hope that the pope will use this visit to remind the world that terror is a problem in just like it is in the western world where hundreds of lives have also been lost,” Ominde wrote.

The blogger praised the pope’s “conciliatory agenda” and suggested that visiting regions with a high Muslim population “should provide him with an opportunity to reach out to Muslims, and set the stone rolling for a process of inter-religious unity in the fight against extremism.”

LGBT rights

On the issue of homosexuality, Ominde : “While we do not expect him to push for the legalisation of homosexuality, Pope Francis will almost definitely encourage African governments to deal with homosexuals in more a humane manner.”

Uganda is notorious for its tough laws criminalising homosexuality. In an interview in 2014 given shortly after signing a bill that made some homosexual acts punishable by life in prison, the country’s president Yoweri Museveni : “They’re disgusting. What sort of people are they?”

In CAR, homosexuality is not illegal, and the country has on sexual orientation and gender identity.

However, “public expressions of love” between persons of the same sex is punishable by six months to two years imprisonment or a fine, and there is currently no legal recognition of same-sex relationships.

In July 2013, Pope Francis showed understanding toward the LGBT community when he : “If someone is gay and searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?”

But Emma Were Tinka’s tweet from , quoting the country’s Archbishop of Gulu, suggested senior religious figures would stand firm in their opposition.

Emma Were Tinka (@EmmaTinka)

Archbishop Odama: On homosexuality, 'i don't think the Pope can divert from the teachings of the church'

The plight of refugees

The Irish Jesuit Mission has asked the pope to keep the plight of refugees in mind during his visit:

Irish Jesuit Mission (@IrishJMissions)

Consider the Invisible:We ask remember refugee messages as he journeys thro Africa

Civil war and violence in Africa have forced many people to flee countries across the continent. released by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) reported that by mid-2014 there were 13 million refugees of concern to the organisation, 28% of them fleeing conflicts in African countries.

to the organisation, there are 460,000 refugees from Central African Republic – 10% of the country’s population – currently living in Cameroon, Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo and Republic of Congo.

Ignatius Bahizi (@bahizi_i)

How Ugandans are preparing for Visit to the country on Nov 27-29 in Pictures.

Cera Njagi (@Kenyanfeminist)

I hope visit inspires the Church to play a greater role in enhancing democracy as it did in the 90s

‘Corruption, impunity, tribalism, insecurity’

Kenya-based Abdimalik Odowa shared a cartoon of Kenya’s prayer requests to the pope:

AMB. Abdimalik Odowa (@AbdimalikOdowa)

Kenya's prayer request: corruption, impunity, tribalism, insecurity... :)

Alvin Akoko in Nairobi pointed out three main issues he would like the pope to discuss during the Kenyan leg of his visit:

Alvin AKOKO (@akokoalvin)

, I understand you wont discuss ethnicity, but please address CORRUPTION, MEDIA FREEDOM & ACCOUNTABILITY

Comparing US president Barack Obama’s trip to the pope’s imminent visit, Twitter user @TsarNjoroge observed:

DUKE OF GATANGASHIRE (@TsarNjoroge)

When comes to Nairobi, people are told to leave city but when comes to Nairobi, people are welcomed in city

During Obama’s visit, the Kenyan government and street vendors from the city.

Reflecting on the same subject, Emmanuel Ngumbi remarked:

Emmanuel Ngumbi (@ngumbijunior)

when visited Kenya he chose to meet a few [email protected] during trip he will celebrate mass with masses at grounds

It is 1.4 million people will attend his mass in Kenya alone.

A version of this article first appeared