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The Emergent Role of Faith in African Development

Although Africa has a long history of troubles, former Vatican diplomat J. Peter Pham, the director of the Atlantic Council’s Africa Center, says there is a new Africa emerging, thanks in large part to the role of faith communities abroad that have pushed back against African slavery and violence, and have called attention to disease and other health challenges on the continent. The work of churches has helped focus U.S. attention on humanitarian aid and conflict resolution. Pham discusses the efforts in a 8 1/2-minute interview posted on the website of Religion & Ethics Newsweekly, a source for cutting edge reporting, interviews and analysis at the intersection of faith and society. “Faith communities also play a role today in Africa’s advocacy for a place in the world,” said Pham. As Africa continues to develop its theological voice, he said, we need to be ready for the new perspectives on faith coming out of Africa, where Christian and Muslim faith communities are growing. You might also appreciate our feature article introducing the beliefs and practices of U.S. Christian, Jewish, and Muslim communities, called “Meet Your Neighbors: Interfaith FACTs.”

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