Peace and youth advocate calls for religious tolerance


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Writes Marlvin Ngiza
Blessing Brandon Chitavati, the president of the Federation of African Child, who is also a peace and youth advocate, has cited the relevance of religious tolerance in communities to reinforce peace and unity.
In his presentation as a panelist at the double book launch by Blessing Nyakabau which was recently held in Harare, Chitavati said that no religion is superior to others. In that realm,  if people start to respect other people’s religions, and love one another without discrimination, it helps with problem-solving and communities will be strong.
He also expressed the need for the resuscitation of societal structures that teach young people about culture and good morals.
“Religion should not result in competition. As Africans, we are not cowards. Let’s stick to the philosophy of Ubuntu – respecting everyone’s culture and beliefs. There should be no criticism since no single belief is the best.
“There is a great need for education and raising awareness in communities on issues of accepting other religions without stereotypes and discrimination. There is also a need to revive our culture, community gatherings, inter-faith dialogues, and traditional gatherings,” said Chitavati.
Meanwhile, Chitavati further suggested the need for equal opportunities for religions to fit into the local school curriculum saying that education has been one of the important tools that can help societies to equally accept one another despite different religious affiliations.
“So when it comes to the question of which religion, it will best to introduce all into the education system. Every religion has the same rights in terms of education.
“Also let us not force people to be part of our religion. As Africans, let us love one another. Let’s not compete but let’s stand with the truth. Don’t undermine other people’s religions. Let us not segregate people in the community based on religion. Accept your neighbour and we will achieve peace,” he added.
The constitution of Zimbabwe in Chapter 2 Section 16 (1) states that the State and all institutions and agencies of government at every level must promote and preserve cultural values and practices that enhance the dignity, well-being, and equality of Zimbabweans.