Catholic children in Senegal help clean up a Muslim cemetery


A group of young Catholics from a parish in Dakar, the Senegalese capital, were looking for a way to foster warmer relations with their neighbors of the Islamic faith.

So, last Sunday, they decided to help clean up a Muslim cemetery.

Members of “Jeunes Chrétiens Engagés”, a youth group in the parish of Saint-Paul in the suburb of Grand Yoff, said they were heeding the call to continue “transforming Muslim Christians dialogue into concrete actions.

“At the beginning, our association cleaned Christian cemeteries, especially on the eve of All Saints’ Day, in commemoration of the saints”, says Pierre Mendy, one of the members of the group.

“And since we are always with Muslims, and the Islamic-Christian dialogue is very important to us, we have decided to extend our actions to Muslim cemeteries,” he said.

The young people went to the cemetery in the nearby town of Yoff with shovels, rakes, curtains, wheelbarrows and other weeding tools.

They said it should be something “normal and ordinary” in a country like Senegal, where different religious denominations live in “perfect harmony”.

Mendy and his companions also noted that there should be no difference between Muslims and Christians as they are all children of God.

“We are all equal before God,” he insisted.

“Those who rest in this Muslim cemetery of Yoff, where the cleaning operations are taking place, did it for the others. And everyone would like it to be the same for them,” said the young man.

A “beautiful” initiative

Ibrahima Diassé, who manages the Yoff cemetery, says he is “delighted” with the commitment of these young Catholics.

“It’s a very good initiative that we really appreciate,” he said.

“These actions carried out by these young people show that the Islamic-Christian dialogue is a reality. To be honest, it’s very beautiful”, exclaimed Diassé.

“Personally, I did not expect it. And as a manager, I am very happy to see this very noble and immeasurable gesture,” he admitted.

Alioune Badara Kébé, a former international footballer involved in various social programs, congratulated the young people for taking this initiative.

He underlined that Senegal is distinguished by its peaceful and harmonious cohabitation.

“Senegal is one of the few countries where you cannot distinguish between Muslims and Christians,” Kébé said.

“Even in this association of committed young Christians from the parish of Saint-Paul de Grand Yoff, there are Muslim sympathizers,” he added.

something to go on

The group of young Catholics decided to organize such lawn days “every weekend” during this month of November.

Members said it was a way of expressing their gratitude to the Muslim community in Senegal whose members have always helped clean up Christian cemeteries in preparation for All Saints Day.


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