News Release

Africa West Area Welcomes Muslim Leaders in Accra, Ghana

Advisory Board for the National Chief Imam visit Area Presidency

Elder Alfred Kyungu and Elder S. Gifford Nielsen (left to right foreground) meet with Muslim leaders at the Africa West Area offices. 30 August 20232023 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.
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On 30 August 2023, the Africa West Area Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints welcomed members of the Advisory Board of the Office of the National Chief Imam to the Area offices in Accra, Ghana.  The Muslim contingent was led by Board Chairman Alhaji Mammah Gado Mohammed, and Dr Mohammed Marzuq Abubakar Azindoo, the Chief Imam’s Personal Assistant.

Elder S. Gifford Nielsen, General Authority Seventy and President of the Africa West Area, welcomed the Board contingent by reaffirming the Church’s commitment to inter-faith cooperation.  “It feels right that we are meeting together and praying together,” said Elder Nielsen. “We were so honored to visit the Chief Imam earlier this year and have looked forward to hosting our Muslim friends.”

In June 2023, Elder Gerrit W. Gong of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, joined Elder Nielsen and other Church leaders in visiting the Chief Imam at his residence in Accra.

Elder Alfred Kyungu, General Authority Seventy and second counselor in the Area Presidency, and other Church leaders joined Elder Nielsen in discussing with the guests how to best work together to bless the lives of all Ghanaians and to expand Ghana’s reputation for being people of peace.

The Board members presented the Church leaders with proposals for projects that could combine the time, resources, and commitment to people of Ghana, of both the Church and the Muslim Community.  Dr Marzuq praised the Church’s proactive approach to service. “You are peacemakers, you take action.  Peace is threatened not by toxic actions but by irresponsible silence.”

Board Chairman Alhaji Gado Mohammed noted the similarities between Islam and the Church. “We are all brothers and sisters from the same family. We are all united together, there is no need for brother to fight brother, brother to fight sister.” He asked that we all look to overcome the obstacles to peace and to become united in creating a peaceful coexistence between all faiths.

Elder Nielsen noted that the President of the Church, Russell M. Nelson, teaches us to be peacemakers and people of integrity.  “He encourages us to stand above the fray, and further the work of peace in our homes and communities.” He noted that Ghana was a special place, a country of peace in a continent of political unrest. “We need to be an example of peace for all of Africa.”

Elder Nielsen presented the guests with a copy of the pamphlet, ‘Muslims, and the Latter-day Saints’. He noted that the Church cares deeply about their relationship with our Muslim neighbors.  “This booklet was created to help our members better understand Islam and our similarities in doctrine and beliefs,” he said.

Dr Marzuq shared that he had previously read and studied the pamphlet with other Muslim scholars in French, English and Arabic, and found the pamphlet to be, “technically correct and brilliantly written. This is surely an excellent work, done by an excellent religious community.”

The Advisory Board contingent visited the Ghana Accra Temple and spent some time there with Elder Nielsen discussing their feelings and questions.  The visit included a stop at the Missionary Training Center in Accra, accompanied by the Area Presidency. They also met with Church representatives from Pathways Worldwide, Seminaries and Institutes, Young Single Adults, Family Search, Church History, Welfare and Self Reliance, and Human Rights Education.

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