Washington D.C., Aug 16, 2004 / 22:00 pm
The president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has issued a call for prayers and a special collection in parishes for the people suffering persecution and deprivation in the Darfur region of Sudan.
Bishop Wilton D. Gregory has asked that special prayers be offered Aug. 22, and that parishes take up a special collection at a convenient time. The funds would be forwarded to Catholic Relief Services, which is currently working with the Church in Sudan to try meet the needs of the people. However, more assistance is needed, he said.
The bishop said Catholic Relief Services would ensure that all funds go to the Sudanese people who are most in need.
World leaders have called the current situation in Sudan the "worst humanitarian crisis in the world.” While the conflict has been on for decades, government-backed Arab militias there, known as the "Janjaweed," have killed an estimated 30,000 Black Africans in the Darfur region in the last 17 months.