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The participants in the peace-building workshop
Photo No. : P071124-1
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Rev Canon Dr John Senyonyi leads a Bible study at the workshop
Photo No. : P071124-2
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A plenary session during the workshop
Photo No. : P071124-3
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Pastors Gather to Consider their Role as Peacemakers
EAB Press Extra
EAB PRESS 071124-2
November 24, 2007

Surely His salvation is near those who fear Him, that His glory may dwell in our land. Love and faithfulness meet together; righteousness and peace kiss each other (Psalm 85:9-10).

[EAB Press - Burundi] The Archbishop and Bishops and just over a hundred pastors representing all the dioceses of the Anglican Church of Burundi gathered from 14 to 16 November
2007 in Bujumbura to consider the role of the Church in the building and consolidation of peace in Burundi. This continued the project to increase the capacity of 250 pastors and 250 lay people over a period of two years.

In his opening speech, the Most Revd Bernard Ntahoturi, Archbishop of the Anglican Church of Burundi, reminded participants that they had come together as one united Church with the mission to be peacemakers so that God is honoured in the Church and the country experiences healing and reconciliation.

A series of Bible studies were given by the Revd Canon Dr John Senyonyi, Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Uganda Christian University. He spoke of the love of God demonstrated at the Cross as the foundation of peace and justice along with Christian unity, truth, and forgiveness. He challenged participants to let the Gospel transform them so that individually and corporately they could be peacemakers and ambassadors of reconciliation.

Consideration was given to traditional values of the culture, key Christian values, good governance, truth and justice for reconciliation, and the role of civil society in the consolidation of peace.

It was noted that many leaders, including pastors, had died in the conflicts of previous years. Both the Church and the country have been wounded.

Traumatised lives need to experience healing and to find peace. Families and communities need to be reconciled.
A whole generation of children and young people that has known only war needs to be shown love and taught Christian values.

The Church has an important role to play in addressing the wrongs of the past, encouraging sustainable peace and good governance, bringing God's healing love to wounded lives, upholding trust and justice, and helping people to be reconciled.