Ivory Coast Holds Ecumenical Service to Celebrate CAN 2023 Triumph

Ivory Coast Holds Ecumenical Service to Celebrate CAN 2023 Triumph.

Abidjan, February 17, 2024 - In a display of profound gratitude, Ivory Coast's diverse religious communities gathered for an ecumenical prayer ceremony on February 17th, 2024, at the Treichville Palace of Culture.

This event served as a collective expression of thanks to God for not only the Elephants' remarkable victory in CAN 2023 but also the successful organization of the tournament itself.

A Nation United in Prayer

The ceremony, held at the initiative of President Alassane Ouattara, reflected the deep connection between faith and national identity in Ivory Coast. Prominent figures adorned the gathering, including the Prime Minister, Minister of Sports, institutional leaders, government members, COCAN and FIF presidents, and the esteemed coach, Faé Emerse.

Religious leaders, representing the Muslim, Methodist, and other communities, took turns offering their heartfelt reflections. Cheikh Aïma Ousmane Diakité, the Muslim community leader, acknowledged, "We prayed for the protection of Côte d'Ivoire, its people, and all foreign delegations during CAN 2023. We implored for cohesion, security, success, and a smooth organization. We even prayed for the victory of the best team, and by God's grace, it was Côte d'Ivoire!" Reverend Benjamin Boni, representing the Methodist Church, echoed these sentiments, expressing immense gratitude to God and extending his appreciation to the President and the authorities who ensured CAN 2023's success.

Beyond the Game: A Celebration of Unity

Prime Minister Robert Beugré Mambé, speaking on behalf of the President and the nation, expressed immense gratitude to the entire religious community. He acknowledged the countless prayers and fasting observed by Ivorians throughout the competition, which ultimately culminated in the Elephants' triumph. Notably, the Prime Minister emphasized the significance of a different kind of victory: "The most important trophy we won is that of fraternity, friendship, solidarity, and conviviality. We have truly demonstrated that Ivory Coast is a nation of hospitality."

The ceremony served not only as a celebration of sporting victory but also as a powerful showcase of national unity. It underscored the importance of faith and collective prayer in the lives of Ivorians, reminding everyone to continually strive for peace, prosperity, and national harmony.

The gathering commenced with a solemn minute of silence, honoring the individuals who lost their lives during CAN 2023. It is noteworthy that this was the second ecumenical prayer ceremony held in the lead-up to the tournament. On December 30th, 2023, a similar event took place at the Treichville Palace of Culture, seeking divine guidance for both the peaceful organization and successful outcome of CAN 2023.


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