2012-08-16 Vatican Radio(Vatican Radio) The Archbishop of Abuja, John Onaiyekan has been named Pax Christi International's 2012 Peace Laureate. Archbishop Onaiyekan has taken a leading role in building interreligious understanding through dialogue in the face of an increasingly violent Boko Haram campaign of terror against Christians and other Muslims who do not share their views. Below, please find the statement from Pax Christi announcing the award ceremony, to be held later this year at the end of October.
Pax Christi International Peace Award
The 2012 Pax Christi International Peace Laureate, His Grace Archbishop Dr. John Onaiyekan is to be honoured in Mechelen/Brussels on Wednesday 31 October 2012, for his efforts in promoting understanding between people of different faiths through dialogue in Africa, and particularly in his country, Nigeria. Archbishop Dr. John Onaiyekan’s consistent and tireless efforts in advocating for justice, peace, inter-religious dialogue and action earned him the 2012 Pax Christi International Peace Prize. His work in Nigeria and other African countries, as the Catholic Archbishop of Abuja, the Co-Chair for the African Council of Religious Leaders – Religions for Peace (ACRL – RfP), and immediate former Co-Chair of the Nigeria Inter-Religious Council (NIREC) immensely and conspicuously contributed to peace. Since 1994, John Olorunfemi Onaiyekan has been the Catholic Archbishop of Abuja.
The Co-Presidents of Pax Christi International Ms. Marie Dennis, USA, and Bishop of Rustenburg, South Africa, Bishop Kevin Dowling commended Archbishop Dr. Onaiyekan for the important role he has played in building bridges between Christians and Muslims in Nigeria and beyond.
Pax Christi International makes an annual peace award to a contemporary figure who is working against violence and injustice. Pax Christi International makes it a point to honour men and women who stand up for peace, justice and non-violence in different parts of the world.
Pax Christi International makes it a point to honour men and women who stand up for peace, justice and non-violence in different parts of the world. In publications and posters, Pax Christi Member Organisations often tell the stories of well-known peace heroes such as Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Dorothy Day, Franz Jägerstätter and the martyrs of El Salvador.
But we do not look only into the past for our heroes. Pax Christi International makes an annual peace award to a contemporary figure who is working against violence and injustice, usually at the grassroots level.