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World Alliance of Religion Peace Summit

On 17th September 2014 Mr. Fezile Potwana, lay minister and churchwarden at the Cathedral of St.John the Baptist, presented a paper on behalf of Bishop Sitembele at the World Alliance of Religion Peace Summit, which was held in South Korea from 17th to 19th September. Mr. Potwana was part of a 300-strong delegation from South Africa.

The text of the paper is below, and a short video of the summit can be seen here.

By the Right Reverend Dr. Sitembele Tobela Mzamane Ph.D., D.D., Bishop of Mthatha, South Africa

The Chair, honoured guests from the local community and global stage, I greet this summit in the blessed name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, who is the Prince of Peace.

I meant to deliver this short address personally but due to the many challenges facing the two dioceses I am shepherding I could not be able to come.

Mr. Fezile Potwana, who is my Church Warden and colleague in Peace Initiatives has kindly agreed to read and present my paper to you in full solidarity of what we are doing about the conflicts in the world

In the first instance God, who created this planet, meant it to be a sanctuary of Peace and concord. But greediness and thirst for power and domination took the centre stage. People from different walks of life found destinations, left their comfort zones in order to create chaos and confusion in other parts of the world.

The scramble to own and to be all-powerful dictated terms for mistrust and overpowering other communities largely without being provoked.

I believe the world's governments are not doing enough to discern who should man and facilitate the foreign policies. If a proper social analysis was in place, states of the world would know what would advance prosperity, development and mutual cohesion of other countries, instead of reducing them into satellite or mediocre states which depend on hand-outs for their survival and cheap concessions.

The People of Integrity imbued by fear of God, religious to the core in their making, should speak with one voice and condemn that which seeks to compromise and belittle other nations in their countries. There should be no 'Big Brother' notion or philosophy whilst others are on the receiving end.

ӿ        We are all created in the image of God (Dei imago) and God replaced chaos with cosmos. Peace should not be a lip service, but should be lived out.

ӿ        We need to affirm one another and learn to respect one another's cultures and religions.
ӿ        Where to others politics and religion are one and the same thing, we, who are living in secular states, need to live lives that befit and reflect the honour and dignity of others, where the principles of justice and righteousness prevail.
ӿ        The Summit would do well if the resolutions and papers that are read could be refined and made a position paper sent to all World Missions for international relations in order for all the world's governments to know about our cry for Peace and Stability.
ӿ        The Organised Crimes, Diseases and hunger could be quelled if the language of Peace could be infiltrated to all countries of the world.
ӿ        Peace and all that it brings should form part of the curriculum and state of the nation address by the Presidents and Governors in the global village or wherever there is a human settlement.

I pray that Peace may reign. I wish that we may all know that Peace knows no boundaries. "Blessed are the Peacemakers because they will become the children of God" and may the Peace of God that passes all understanding keep you in the love and blessing of God.

I thank you.