Letters from the week of 19 – 25 June, 2017
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By way of clarification
Just to note that the recent church vandalism reported as taking place in France, with headline 'Actes de vandalisme à Sicap Mbao: L'église protestante saccagée' actually occurred in Senegal.
Sicap is an acronym for Société Immobilière du Cap-Vert. It's a housing development project working on the Cap-Vert peninsula, where Dakar (Senegal's capital) is located. Sicap Mbao is one of their housing complexes on the outskirts of Dakar, on the road to Rufisque.
This particular church was vandalized by youth who objected to its construction on what was the only playground in the community. So it's not a religious statement, it's a land dispute. The community has always objected to any construction on that playground, regardless of purpose. Nevertheless, people were shocked at the vandalism because it's so atypical.
Senegal has a long history of religious tolerance & friendship. It's not uncommon for Muslim men to marry Christian women & to raise their families in both faiths. The same is true in neighboring Guinea.
I used to live in Senegal & in Guinea. Most churches are Catholic & from the colonial period. There's a wonderful Benedictine Abbey in Senegal further down that same road, Keur Moussa (the house of Moses).
Oakland, CA USA
19 June 2017
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