Catholic Church in Africa ‘best hope’ for peace, charity says
Regina Lynch
Regina Lynch
Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest Addthis

.- As Pope Benedict XVI makes his first visit to Africa, the charity Aid to the Church in Need has highlighted both its own work and the growth of Catholicism on the continent, calling the Church Africa’s “best hope” for peace.

According to a press release from Aid to the Church in Need (ACN), the charity’s project support has grown more in Africa than in most other continents, especially over the past three years, as the charity responds to a “vocations boom” and increasing numbers of Catholics.

The charity says its work is concentrating on Christian education as well as religious and human formation for clergy and laity. ACN believes these efforts are crucial in the quest to break Africa’s “cycle of violence.”

“The Church in Africa – with growing numbers of priests and a more committed laity – is undoubtedly the best hope for a continent that for some people represents nothing but injustice, bloodshed and despair,” said Regina Lynch, ACN projects director.

According to recent audited figures, the charity has paid out about $574,000 for projects in Angola and about $715,000 for projects in Cameroon. Its overall expenditures in Africa total more than $18.1 million.

Calling support for vocations “crucial,” Lynch explained that ACN has increased its commitment to help both seminarians and religious Sisters.

“For ACN it is not only a question of quantity but of quality and we are working with religious superiors in vocations discernment and formation,” she said.

She also underlined the group’s work with laity in promoting Christian family values, AIDS prevention and other pro-life initiatives.

“ACN’s increasing work in Africa is a response to the amount of life and energy in the Church – its struggle to rebuild respect for human dignity, develop paths towards reconciliation and give young people a chance for a better life,” she reported.

The inculcation of Christian values such as love and forgiveness is critical, she said, noting that ACN’s Child Bible has now been distributed across 46 African countries in 64 different languages.

Reconciliation initiatives are also key to the charity’s work. One example the group cites is its support for the Marian shrine in Kibeho, Rwanda, which is seen as helping the country to heal the wounds of its civil conflict.

ACN has also sponsored projects such as Save the Savable schools for children in Khartoum, Sudan which with other projects assists those parts of Africa affected by the spread of Islam.

“Sadly, fundamentalism is reaching deep into the continent and in some countries the future of Christianity is on a knife-edge,” Lynch said. “Violence, poverty and extremism in regions such as eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, Zimbabwe and Sudan have fundamentally assaulted the dignity of the human person – their values, their sense of right and wrong, their sense of community and their trust in God. If these scars are to heal, the Church needs our support.”

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages


Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google

Featured Videos

Little Sisters of the Poor press conference in Denver
Little Sisters of the Poor press conference in Denver
Family thrilled to see Pope Francis in Istanbul
Syrian Refugee, Sara, 14, Before Meeting Pope
Ebola orphans thousands of children in West Africa
One year after Haiyan: Philippines rebuilds homes, lives
An Indian contribution to the Vatican's Synod on the Family
Christ Cathedral CNA video Sept 2014
Alejandro Bermudez of CNA accepts ice bucket challenge
'The Real Albania,' remembering those who fled
Pope Francis in Albania, "one of the most important visits of the post-communist era in Albania"
Pope Francis greets paralyzed man who risked all to see him
Franciscans on the banks of the Tiber in Rome, working for the New Evangelization
Pilgrimage from Czech Republic to Assisi and Rome for intentions
Testimony of young Indian who met Pope in Korea
Preparations of the Closing Mass of 6th Asian Youth Day
Missionary of Charity, Korea
Testimony of Christian Love during Pope's Visit to Korea
Religious Sisters in South Korea react to Pope Francis kissing a baby
Warm atmosphere during Holy Mass at Daejeon World Cup Stadium
Images inside Pope Francis flight to South Korea

Liturgical Calendar

December 18, 2014

Advent Weekday

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 21:23-27


Daily Readings

First Reading:: Jer 23: 5-8
Gospel:: Mt 1: 18-25

Saint of the Day

St. Romuald »


Homily of the Day

Mt 21:23-27