An African Archbishop who preached at the opening service of the 2008 African/European Bishops’ meeting in Liverpool’s Metropolitan Cathedral has been honoured with an International Peace Award. Archbishop John Onaiyekan, the Archbishop of Abuja in Nigeria has been named as Pax Christi International's 2012 Peace Laureate and will receive the award in Mechelen/Brussels on Wednesday 31 October.
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. He is being honoured for his efforts in promoting understanding between people of different faiths through dialogue in Africa, and particularly in his own country, Nigeria.
Pax Christi International said that Archbishop Onaiyekan’s 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, and immediate former Co-Chair of the Nigeria Inter-Religious Council immensely and conspicuously contributed to peace.’
Archbishop Onaiyekan preached at Evening Prayer, broadcast nationally by the BBC, on Wednesday 19 November 2008 at the start of the Bishops’ gathering in Liverpool.