Youth in Kampala
Message by His Beatitude the Pope and Patriarch
of Alexandria and all Africa PETROS VII
to Youth meeting at Kampala
Beloved children in the Lord,
It is with great joy that We take this wonderful opportunity to communicate with you during your meeting in Kampala. We would like to congratulate both those who have worked on organising this meeting and the participants coming from different African countries, members of our Venerable Throne of Alexandria and all Africa.
As you all know, throughout its sojourn our Church in Africa, guided by the Holy Spirit, has always triumphed over adversity. The true faith of our Church has remained intact. It preaches love, peace and equality amongst people of every race and language. That is why we declare once more, the Ecumenical character of the Holy Orthodox Church. Our Church is the Church of martyrs, ascetics, confessors and great ecumenical teachers. The Holy Patriarchs Athanasios, Cyril and John the Merciful are among these.
We who have the great honour and privilege of belonging through our baptism to that Church and especially you, the young people of Africa, are called to join hands, to keep that precious treasure of our Orthodox tradition, together with your beautiful local customs.
Remain united through love and faith in the Lord. Make the Orthodox Spirit your heritage, ¨working for Christ with humility¨ (Acts 20/19). Be sure that our God will never neglect you, but He will watch over you and lead you towards His Heavenly Kingdom.
As we approach the new millennium of Orthodoxy, we hope and pray that the Divine Providence will open new ways for the evangelising of the whole of our beloved African continent. We implore you, especially during this period, to cultivate the Orthodox ethos which harmonises freedom and human rights.
The witness of Christ in this great city of Alexandria over the past two thousand years, through the testimony of His Gospels and through our mission work in Africa, has been a wonderful task - a miraculous one - a great gift of the Grace of Our Lord. It is only through that great mystery that our Church in the African continent established itself and has kept the authentic faith and true life. Our martyrs and confessors speak to us today as they did then.
Therefore, beloved youth of Africa, remain faithful to the teachings of our Holy Orthodox Church. Make every effort to fulfill your obligations and duties in order to become useful citizens to society, to your local churches and to our Patriarchate. Cultivate the great message of Christ, which is love, in your hearts. Respect your leaders and those who serve you with self-sacrifice and dedication. Keep our Tradition, share your talents and all good things with others.
With these thoughts We greet you all and wish every blessing from God to you and your people.