Posted on : Tuesday August 18, 2015

Panelists also to discuss pursuing peace and relationships amidst radically diverse worldviews

By Shannon Baker

GLENELG, Md.–At nine years old, Emmanuel Jal was handed an assault rifle and given the assignment of a war-child: kill as many Muslims as you can. Emmanuel’s story is one that takes us from violence to music, and from hatred to love.

Jal will present his story and his music at a “Night for Peace” on Oct. 16, from 7-9 p.m. at Glenelg High School, 14025 Burntwoods Road in Glenelg, Md.

This event, sponsored by Gethsemane Baptist Church and the Mid-Atlantic Baptist Network, will also feature a panel discussion from leaders from a broad spectrum of faiths, including:

— Emre Celik, President and Founder of the Rumi Forum, Washington, D.C.

— Brian Corrick, Senior Pastor, Gethsemane Baptist Church, Glenwood, Md.

— Suhail Khan, Senior Fellow for Christian-Muslim Understanding, Institute for Global Engagement, Washington, D.C.

— Joel Rainey, team strategist for evangelism and engagement, Mid-Atlantic Baptist Network, Columbia, Md.

— Elamin Shringrai,lead teacher of Quran, Islamic Studies, and Arabic at Al-Rahmah School, Baltimore, and an Arabic and Islamic Studies lecturer at Tooba University, College Park, Md.

About Emmanuel Jal:

From his start in life as a child soldier in the war-torn region of Southern Sudan in the early 1980s, Emmanuel Jal has come through a huge number of struggles during his life to become an acclaimed musician and peace ambassador. Drawing on his personal experiences he speaks and performs with a strong message of reconciliation, and has addressed the United Nations, US Congress, the Carter Centre and the very highest level of several governments.

During his career, he has been involved with a number of global charity organizations, including the British Council, the Child Soldiers Initiative, Amnesty International and Oxfam. He has spoken alongside some of the major players in the world of global humanitarianism, including Kofi Annan and Martti Ahtisaari for CMI in Finland, Matt Dillon for Refugees International and Angelina Jolie at the ICC for Cinema for Peace.

In 2008 a full-length documentary on his life was released. The film, Warchild, won 12 prestigious film festival awards worldwide. In the same year, his autobiography, also called Warchild, was published by Little Brown. For his outstanding commitment to peace building, Jal was awarded the Common Ground Award in 2011, and became part of an elite group of award holders, such as Desmond Tutu and Mohammad Ali. In 2012, he was asked to be a Young Global Leader for the World Economic Forum, and performed at the G20 summit in Mexico.

Most recently, he has starred alongside Academy Award winner Reese Witherspoon in the Hollywood hit The Good Lie (2014), a film true to real life events concerning the young victims of the Sudanese civil war. Learn more at

To RSVP for individuals and groups, visit online at