The visit included meetings with representatives from several faith groups, including Pentecostals, Muslims, Catholics, Anglicans, Lutherans, Seventh Day Adventist and Assemblies of God.
"I'm here to get a better understanding of the religious landscape of Tanzania," said Cutler. "Religion is the very fabric of African society and we want to partner in building upon religious pluralism and diversity. The power of religion is such a significant factor in solving problems that face East Africa."
"My close friend and Muslim Imam, Shakur Ali, Africa command Chaplain (U.S. Air Force Colonel) Jerry Lewis, and I are visiting Dar es Salaam from August 10 to 15," Cutler told the religious leaders. "It's unheard of for a Jew, Christian and Muslim to be friends who respect one another's traditions. We want to show that it does work and, by respecting one another, the power of the message of God can prosper."
Another prevalent topic was the scheduled regional religious leader dinner to discuss important items.
"We must address these issues," said Cutler. "First employ the youth. Then create and build upon interfaith peace. Finally institute a regional organization to recognize and resolve problems."
There's an organization in Kenya that's already working to resolve the problem of unemployment with youth, according to Cutler. Other nations could mirror this organization's infrastructure to help youth. It's essential to have employment opportunities in order to have a future.
To focus on creating interfaith peace was of similar interest to each religious leader during the visit.
"We believe in the importance of peace preservation and that nothing is impossible with God," said Pentecostal Bishop Sylvester Gamanywa, World African Protestant Organization Mission International chairman. "The future is not attractive if this issue is not prevented."
The final idea posed was to create a diverse religious organization.
"We need to continue coming together to establish activities where we can work together as collective bodies," said Peter Maduki, Caritas Tanzania, executive secretary of a Catholic charity organization. "In Tanzania we have two mainstream religions, Islam and Christianity, so we must create trust amongst one another."
The future of interfaith peace within Tanzania could spark change elsewhere, according to Cutler
"What takes place here could act as the framework for religious partnership elsewhere," he said. "Religious leaders can work with each other in a cooperative fashion. We want to see how we can partner together."
"All things are possible," said Reverend Charles Mndambi, a local Seventh Day Adventist church pastor. "Amen!"
[news via hoa.africom.mil]