The African Catholic Bishop of Yendi, Vincent Sowah Boi-Nai SVD, hailed for his peace-building efforts in Ghana, says violent protests against an anti-Islam film produced in the US would not be condoned by the large Muslim community in his homeland diocese of Yendi, reports The Southern Cross.
“Violence is not accepted by Muslims in Ghana and they do what they can to prevent this violence from infiltrating the country,” Bishop of Yendi Vincent Sowah Boi-Nai SVD told the paper during a visit to Adelaide last month.
A leading figure in Christian-Muslim peace talks, Bishop Boi-Nai addressed a forum in the city on the Building Bridges project between Catholic and Muslim communities and the Catholic Mission work in Ghana.
In his first visit to Australia, Bishop Boi-Nai said retributive anti-American violence carried out by extremists across the Muslim world following the September You Tube preview of The Innocence of Muslims was condemned by the majority of Muslims living and working in Yendi, a diocese where Catholics constitute 1.6 per cent of the population.
“You can not solve violence with violence because it only creates more violence,” said Bishop Boi-Nai. He said the success of peace building efforts required a delicate balance between freedom of speech and tolerance and respect for different religions.
“What we are seeing is that despite all these different perspectives that we have, we should go beyond that and strive to see what unites us together as people.”
The Bishop was the first appointed to the newly created Yendi Diocese in 1999 at a time when the predominantly Muslim town was under attack by an inter-ethnic conflict between the Dagombas and Kokombas groups.
The conflict mainly over chieftaincy led to the vandalisation of the Yendi Cathedral and burning of the Church’s three vehicles amid claims the Church was supporting one clan over the other.
FULL STORY Ghanaian peace-maker in Adelaide (The Southern Cross)