Article by Andy Sennitt

A Catholic and an Islamic radio station in Guinea Bissau have signed an accord to air each other’s programmes in order to promote interfaith dialogue, a local missionary has reported. “A priest will speak of the Gospel in an Islamic radio and a Muslim shall speak Islam at a Catholic radio,” Fr Davide Sciocco said.

The accord will be a “unique and important aspect for interfaith dialogue” in a country where Muslims represent some 40 percent of the population and Christians 12 to 13 percent,” said the missionary from the Pontifical Institute of Foreign Missions (PIME). According to Fr Sciocco, the two stations, Radio Sol Mansi (the risen sun) and the Quranic school radio in Mansoa, Recom have actually maintained ties for some time; the signed accord gives it a more symbolic and official value.

“I’m not sure if this is the first experience of this type but it is surely one of the first. I will refer to the Gospel every time in telling a story. I shall speak addressing a non-Christian audience. Our radio will reciprocate hosting various Recom programmes, confirming the space that already gives an imam the chance to discuss Islam to an audience of non-Muslims,” Fr Sciocco said.

The goal is to “promote and strengthen interfaith dialogue, already strong in Guinea Bissau as it is; opening to various forms of collaboration, technical and journalistic,” said Fr Sciocco. The PIME missionary said, “If we wish to live together we must learn each other’s faiths very well.”