Djibouti, Djibouti, Oct 24, 2016 / 23:03 pm America/Denver (CNA).
“Even if work has to be done silently, it is better to be here than not be here.” These are the words of Bishop Giorgio Bertin, apostolic administrator of the Diocese of Mogadishu.
The prelate, who has been in the region for almost 40 years and is also Bishop of Djibouti, was hinting at the grave risks Christians face in the Horn of Africa.
There is only a single church in Somalia: St. Anthony of Padua in Hargeisa, the capital of Somaliland, a semi-autonomous region. Saying Mass has been and continues to be “very dangerous,” the bishop told international Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need.
Just last January, after the church had been boarded up for some 20 years, the bishop was able to re-consecrate the church, which now also serves as a base for humanitarian activities sponsored by Caritas.
“Not many people come to Mass – 10 at most – but nonetheless, it is important,” the bishop said. The church is a silent witness in a country where “there are more and more mosques”, thanks to financial aid from Saudi Arabia, he added.