President Nkurunziza (middle) closes the ecumenical prayer

GITEGA January 29th (ABP) – The President of the Republic of Burundi, Mr. Pierre Nkurunziza, closed in Gitega (central Burundi) on Saturday January 26, 2019, the interfaith prayer organized at the national level by the ruling party, the CNDD-FDD, in an atmosphere of praise and thanksgiving to God, a check by ABP revealed.

President Nkurunziza paid tribute to God for His many benefits for Burundi, the CNDD-FDD party, the Burundian people and their leaders. He commended the joyful atmosphere that marked the prayer, which gives a good impetus to the activities of the year 2019. He thanked the dignitaries and the assembly for their participation and the collections whether donated or promised. He said that the offerings collected will be used to build the temple of God that will bring together believers of different religions. A sum of more than one billion eight hundred                                                                                            seventy-four million (1,874,000,000 BIF) of Burundian francs was collected. Participants from all over the country also donated building materials. Others offered food aid for assistance to vulnerable people.

One of the prayer organizers gave an account number, 16879-02-42, to BANCOBU, to facilitate other people who want to contribute in money.

The Head of State also expressed thanks to all those who were involved in the smooth running of that prayer and to the guests who attended it, citing in particular the personalities, the servants of God and the speakers of the awareness sessions held for political leaders, members of youth leagues and women.

President Nkurunziza also gave a message from the Holy Bible of the book of Saint John in chapter 5, verses 13-18, emphasizing the strength of a prayer made with faith. He then prayed for the country, the ruling party, the Burundians and their leaders.

In his speech, Ruling Party Secretary-General Evariste Ndayishimiye expressed his satisfaction for that good initiative taken by the party to give the 1st place to prayer before taking any action. He also rejoiced at this interfaith prayer which kicks off the activities to be carried out in the newly established political capital of Gitega. He meant that one of the successes of that ecumenical prayer is the unity of the believers of the different religious denominations who came together to share the word of God.

In his Friday evangelistic session for political, administrative and religious leaders, Pastor Serge Ngendakumana reinforced the teachings of the central theme of interfaith prayer “For where your treasure is, this is also where your heart is”. Referring to the evangelical passage of Saint Matthew chapter 6, verse 19, Pastor Ngendakumana decried any temptation to seek ill-gotten wealth that has no advantage and is a barrier to the Kingdom of God. He invited everyone to always watch for the purity of their hearts.

During the teaching given before the closing of the prayer, Father Jean-Berchmas Nibitanga, Executive Secretary of the Gitega Archdiocese’s Development Organization, emphasized the vital importance of God’s forgiveness. He meant that no one could think themselves perfect. He paid tribute to God for His unparalleled mercy and many blessings for Burundi. He implored God to bless Burundi, its leaders and all Burundians.

The ecumenical prayer was animated by choirs from different religious denominations.

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