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Site Last Update: 20 Sep, 2017
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God Is Like a Large Baobab Tree
Interreligious Dialog
Conflict Resolution, God, Muslims/Islam, Unity/Division
Father Joseph Healey, M.M. / Dar es Salaam / Tanzania
True Story
Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
African Posters to Teach the BIBLE (2002), Once Upon a Time in Africa (2004), from African Stories for Preachers and Teachers (2005)

    One day my pick-up truck broke down on the road from Maswa to Bariadi in Western Tanzania. After I had waited for half an hour, a big Coca-Cola truck came by and the driver, named Musa, kindly towed my vehicle to the next town. This was a not-uncommon occurrence of friendship and mutual help on our poor dirt roads.

    While we drove into town I sat in his big cab and we talked about, of all things, religion. Musa was a Muslim who belonged to the Nyamwezi ethnic group.

    In commenting on the tensions between Christians and Muslims in Tanzania, he said, “There is only one God. God is like a large Baobab tree with different branches that represent the different religions of Islam, Christianity, African religion, and so forth. These branches are part of the same family of God - so we should work together.”

    Simply put, Musa taught me a wonderful African metaphor for world religions and interreligious dialogue.


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