Archbishop Onaiyekan Named 2012 Pax Christi Laureate

Nigerian Prelate Lauded For Promoting Justice, Peace and Inter-Religious Dialogue

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ROME, AUGUST 17, 2012 ( Archbishop John Onaiyekan, the 2012 International Pax Christi Laureate, will be honored in Mechelen/Brussels, Belgium, on, October 31, for his efforts in promoting understanding through dialogue between peoples of different beliefs in Africa and, particularly, in his country, Nigeria.

“Archbishop Dr. John Onaiyekan’s consistent and tireless efforts in advocating for justice, peace, inter-religious dialogue and action earned him the 2012 Pax Christi International Peace Prize.”, reported the organization.

Recently, Nigeria has been the scene of numerous attacks on Christian communities by the violent Boko Haram Islamic terrorist group, which this past year alone has left more than 1,600 dead in the country.  

Pax Christi International stated that Archbishop Onaiyekan’s work “in Nigeria and other African countries, as the Catholic Archbishop of Abuja, the Co-Chair for the African Council of Religious Leaders – Religions for Peace (ACRL – RfP), and immediate former Co-Chair of the Nigeria Inter-Religious Council (NIREC) immensely and conspicuously contributed to peace.”

John Olorunfemi Onaiyekan has served as Archbishop of Abuja since 1994.

The co-presidents of Pax Christi International, Marie Dennis of the United States and Bishop Kevin Dowling of Rustenburg, South Africa, praised the very important role archbishop Onaiyekan has played in building bridges between Christians and Muslims in Nigeria and other countries.

Every year, Pax Christi International awards a peace prize to a contemporary figure working against violence and injustice. “Pax Christ International considers it a duty to honor men and women who stand for peace, justice and non-violence in different parts of the world,” the organization stated.

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