The Church’s involvement in settling political crisis in Togo
The Catholic Church has contributed in settling various political crises which have been rocking Togo since the beginning of the democratic process in the country in 1990.
It actively participated in the 1991 national conference presided over by the former Archbishop of Lome, Mgr Philippe Fanoko Kpodzro, who also chaired the transitional parliament called the High Council of the Republic (HCR).
The Church played a very key role in solving the socio-political crisis in Togo, and continues to bring its contribution whenever the need arises.
During political crises, the Catholic Church has, through bishops, appealed for level-headedness and dialogue among stakeholders while encouraging the Togolese to cope with the different situations.
The Episcopal Conference of Togo also puts political issues at the heart of the concerns often debated within decision-making bodies.
The Church often sends letters to Christians and the people of goodwill, mainly in the run-up to polls.
"The thorny and unprecedented situations we have experienced in the run-up to, during and after the 24 April 2005 presidential election could have disheartened many people. We would have however faced a worst situation, if people were disheartened. We could not expect direct assistance from God who created Heaven and Earth”.
To have the Lord’s effective assistance, we have however to bring our contribution”, the Bishops of Togo wrote in a message entitled “God, Comfort and Hope” addressed to the believers, following the 2005 presidential polls.
The 2005 electoral process was marred by violence with a death toll averaging 500 to 900 as well as 40,000 refugees and displaced persons, according to various sources.
"Facing the situation, we have to make a serious examination of conscience in the light of the Spirit", said the bishops who contributed in their own way to restoring peace in the country.
The Bishops prayed for peace in Togo as they used to do, during all Eucharistic celebrations in the country.
Beyond its typical mission, the Catholic Church groups its believers in Catholic movements aware of the social justice concept while preaching the Gospel based on mutual love. These educational messages are aimed at raising people’s awareness and enlightening Christians, sources reported.