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Panel To Discuss Africa And Religion

A PANEL discussion examining recent religious developments in Africa will be held at the Castries Methodist Church on Tuesday evening and is open to the general public.

The discussion, organized by the Men’s Christian Fellowship of the Methodist Church is expected to devote much time to what might be considered some of the most significant aspects of religion and Africa in recent history and in contemporary times — the Dutch Reformed Church and Apartheid in Southern Africa and Islam and Christianity across sub-Saharan Africa.

A panel will discuss the topic: “Religion and Africa– has it been a bane or blessing, a happy marriage or a costly curse.”

The panel is made up of persons with in depth historical, spiritual and personal knowledge related to the topic. The organizers also hope that there will be persons in the audience who will have insights that they will wish to share.

The panel will include :

• Dr. Gregor Williams, a historian, tutor and heritage conservationist for more than 50 years who was awarded the honorary Doctor of Letters by the University of Sheffield in the UK in 2009. Dr. Williams, who graduated in engineering from the St Francis Xavier University in Canada, has worked in the education system in St Lucia and with the St Lucia National Trust;

• Nkrumah Lucien, a graduate of the University of the West Indies who teaches Caribbean history, Social Studies and Principles of Business at the Secondary School level.

• Ms.ArmelleChatelier, a Teacher in Francophone Literature and Digital Media at the Sir Arthur Lewis Community College, who has been living in St Lucia for the past 13 years. The child of a Senegalese mother and French father, she was a researcher in History and Cultural Studies at the University of Paris.

• Reverend Philbert Delaney, Superintendent Minister of the Methodist Church in St. Lucia.

The discussion will centre around recent military, ethnic and political conflicts in the African continent which seem to have some basis in religious persuasion in countries such as Kenya, Nigeria and Somalia, highlighting an Islamic/Christian divide.

Timothy Chaderton, a spokesman for the Fellowship said: “At the end of the discussion we anticipate that we will all have learnt something new about a situation which we cannot ignore whether from the view point of being mostly a part of the African diaspora or a part of the, again mostly, Christian community of Saint Lucia.”

He acknowledged that the topic was not one much is generally known about in this part of the world, adding that this may be an opportune time to learn a bit more about it, its origins as well as current considerations and implications for the future.

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