The Catholic Church is helping to transform life on an island off the west coast of Africa through its interreligious and educational work -- with the help of charities in Britain and Ireland. The expansion of the Church's work, aided by the construction of a new church and pastoral center on Pemba -- the second largest island in Tanzania's Zanzibar archipelago -- will have a significant impact on society in the predominantly Muslim country.
The Pastoral Centre in Chake-Chake, near the centre of the island, will help the whole society and encourage good inter-faith relations with the Church's Muslim neighbors according to the missionary priest. Father Msaky said: "The construction of the center, which has been going on for three years now, is of really great value for the people of Pemba -- not only for Christians but Muslims as well.
The priest told ACN: "We see interreligious dialogue as part of our life, not only the question of religious affairs, but also social activities, like health, like education, like improving the social services at large. We call that a dialogue of life, whereby we come together, we share our joys, we share our sorrows, we cooperate too to work together for the improvement of our society.
He went on to say: "So this center apart Fatherom providing a place for prayer and worship, will be used as a kind of interreligious dialogue centre -- that was the original idea of the building."
Father Masky said: "The agenda is to build relationships, when we go out we don't go out to convert people it is to build relations -- although those who are willing convert of their own decision, they make up their mind. "We see ourselves as people of God, created to serve God irrespective of the various Faiths."