U.S. embassy and consulates general representatives discussed religious freedom with numerous religious leaders and groups. In January the U.S. Department of State’s Office of the Special Representative to Muslim Communities and 30 young Muslims launched a South African chapter of a U.S. government-sponsored global network dedicated to fostering the next generation of innovators and leaders in Muslim youth communities. An official from the special representative’s office met with leaders of the country’s Muslim Students Association and the Muslim Youth Association, and delivered public remarks before Friday prayers at a mosque in Johannesburg.
On February 7, the U.S. Consul General in Cape Town participated in an interfaith meeting on poverty and community development hosted by the Jewish Board of Deputies, a nongovernmental organization. The event was attended by Anglican, Catholic, evangelical Christian, Shia, Sunni, and Orthodox Jewish faith leaders.
On February 16, the U.S. embassy Deputy Chief of Mission and Consul General attended a ceremony in Cape Town marking the registration of the International Peace College of South Africa as the country’s first accredited Muslim tertiary school of study. The academy works with Islamic scholars to promote peace and reconciliation globally through the use of religious texts and interfaith partnerships.
During Ramadan the Charge d'Affaires hosted an iftar for 25 Muslim guests and embassy representatives. The Durban, Cape Town, and Johannesburg Consuls General also hosted interfaith Ramadan dinners, which focused on religious tolerance.
On September 16, staff from the Consulate General in Durban participated in the annual general meeting of the KZN Inter Religious Council, which promotes interreligious cooperation.
The Ambassador and Consul General hosted a lunch on September 25, in Cape Town with leaders of the Muslim, Christian, and Jewish communities to discuss cooperation on community reconciliation, education, crime, violence, and the role of faith communities in healing the wounds of apartheid.