North Africans Focus on Emigrants and Dialogue with Islam

Bishops´ Conference Also Calls for More Harmony Between Churches

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ALGIERS, Algeria, FEB. 7, 2002 ( Dialogue with Islam and support for emigrants were the main topics addressed during the last meeting of the Regional Episcopal Conference of North Africa.

The conference is a collegiality of bishops of Morocco, Tunisia, Libya and Algeria. The meeting, which took place in Ghardaia, reiterated its commitment to «discern the signs of the divine presence in a difficult, and at times harsh, daily life, which by this very reason calls for intensified commitment and Christian witness.»

The final statement from the meeting says that discussions focused on the conditions of emigrants of sub-Sahara and the Maghreb; the ecclesial witness in African societies of Muslim majority; and the need for greater harmony between the Churches of the north and south Sahara.

Special attention was given to the recent interreligious meeting held in Assisi. Father Thierry Becker of the Oran Diocese, who attended the Day of Prayer for Peace, shared his appreciation of the religious event.

The bishops said that the Assisi message is an invitation to «educate in reciprocal understanding and trust, supporting one another mutually in a joint effort to overcome indifference, injustice, hatred and violence.»

The bishops of North Africa also sent a message to the Church in the Middle East expressing their concern and solidarity.

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