In Fratelli Tutti which is a very much Franciscan encyclical written by Pope Francis, we are given an episode in the life of Saint Francis that shows his openness of heart and commitment to peace, which knew no bounds and transcended differences of origin, nationality, color or religion. It was his visit to Sultan Malik-el-Kamil, in Egypt, which entailed considerable hardship, given Francis’ poverty, his scarce resources, the great distances to be traveled, and their differences of language, culture, and religion. That journey, undertaken at the time of the Crusades, further demonstrated the breadth and grandeur of his love, which sought to embrace everyone. Francis’ fidelity to his Lord was commensurate with his love for his brothers and sisters. Unconcerned for the hardships and dangers involved, Francis went to meet the Sultan with the same attitude that he instilled in his disciples: if they found themselves “among the Saracens and other nonbelievers”, without renouncing their own identity they were not to “engage in arguments or disputes, but to be subject to every human creature for God’s sake”. In the context of the times, this was an extraordinary recommendation. We are impressed that some eight hundred years ago Saint Francis urged that all forms of hostility or conflict be avoided and that a humble and fraternal “subjection” be shown to those who did not share his faith.
Francis did not wage a war of words aimed at imposing doctrines; he simply spread the love of God. He understood that “God is love and those who abide in love abide in God” (1 Jn 4:16). In this way, he became a father to all and inspired the vision of a fraternal society. Indeed, “only the man who approaches others, not to draw them into his own life, but to help them become ever more fully themselves, can truly be called a father”.
The advocacy for peace is inbuilt in our very nature as Franciscans and it knows no borders. We are ambassadors of peace. And at the very call of this advocacy is that our vocation is to love, each and everyone as created in the image of God. We know the importance of peace as it waves the way for justice and respect if human rights.
In association with Franciscans in Africa, We promote JPIC values through:
• Active Non- Violence Actions
• Intercommunity and inter-religious dialogues (circles for peace/conversations for social change)
• Peace forums to campaign against tribalism and nepotism,
• Advocacy against gender and domestic violence in Africa
• Capacity building on the values and benefits of cultural diversity in Africa

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