Kayode Olanrewaju Against rising religious intolerance in the country, the authorities of Babcock University, Ilishan-Remo in Ogun State, have advocated religious understanding and inter-faith relations that will enthrone and ensure peace, stability and mutual co-existence of the country.
The call was made during the inauguration of the Adventist African-Traditionalist Centre (AARC), the first of its kind on the African continent, and domiciled at Babcock University, which according to the management, stands as a rallying point for fostering tolerance, discipleship and mutual respect.
The President/Vice Chan cellor of the university, Prof. Ademola Tayo, however, described the timing of the inauguration of the Centre as significant and promised to make it a formidable instrument for mission and bridge building. “This event presents us with a unique opportunity to interface with one other and share our common humanity in spite of our religious differences,” he said.
Among dignitaries at the event were the President of the West Central Africa Division Regional Headquarters of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire, Pastor Elie Weick-Dido and the Director of Adventist Mission, Pastor Gary Krause, representing the Global General Conference of the Adventist Church, USA.
“There will be no peace without dialogue,’’ the WAD Executive Secretary and the Project Initiator, Pastor Kingsley Anonaba said. While presenting the Global Mission & Interfaith Relation, he said the centre would help the church understand its religious landscape through studies and research.
In his paper: ‘Adventist African Traditionalist Relation: The Common Grounds,’ the Senior Vice President, Prof. Philemon Amanze said: “Since almost all African cultures recognise God as the Creator of the Universe, we can use this as a common ground for building interfaith relations.”
Also, the Director of the Ellen G. White Centre, Pastor Adetunji Adelowo echoed similar views in his paper, entitled: “Adventist Traditionalist Relations: A Divinely Approved Assignment” underscored the need for peace and religious understanding and inter-faith relations to live in harmony.
The inauguration was attended by the Olofin of Ilishan, Oba Michael Sonuga, his Olori, as well as the Council of Chiefs and other personalities from diverse faiths. “This is our contribution to the world church.
We all need to support this entity to make it work,” Pastor Elie-Weick said, while Dr. Krause noted that religion boils down to one thing, which he described “as understanding.”
“I pray that the Centre will serve as the key to unlock the door for the global mission for the Adventist Church and help us build cultural bridges of understanding,” they added