In Togo, leaders of the Evangelical Presbyterian and Methodist churches have issued a joint message calling for peace and unity after demonstrations on 19 August in Lomé and other cities.
The protests that filled the streets of Lome, Togo's capital, last weekend were among the biggest in the nation's history. Two people were killed and dozens injured.
Recalling a pastoral exhortation from June 2017, the two churches again expressed their dismay over the situation of instability, social crisis and conflict that prevails in Togo.
In the June pastoral exhortation, the two churches welcomed the pilgrimage for justice and peace proposed by the World Council of Churches at 10th Assembly in Busan, Republic of Korea. Church members in Togo were invited to join the pilgrimage and to work towards unity in the nation.
With this new call for peace and unity, church leaders reiterated the core importance of the virtues of love, charity and solidarity that should lie at the basis of a united community.
Pastors encouraged their members to reflect personally on their own responsibility. They recalled Ephesians 4:3: “Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace”.
Members are urged to be united toward better lives together, and view themselves as people bound in the same nation where discrimination should not prevail.
Despite a promising call for peace and unity, the Evangelical Presbyterian and Methodist churches of Togo remain highly concerned with the political situation of the country. According to the leaders of the two churches, constitutional and institutional reforms are necessary and urgent, and the legitimate claim of the people of Togo needs to be taken into consideration.