“The Pontifical charity organization notes that there is a “complete absence” of State-provided security in Bukavu, and that the Catholic Church is one of the few bodies speaking out against injustice and violence in the region.”
“They accused us of trying to convert the local people…”
“We must give hope and support.”
The ACN webpage offers free materials for those praying in parishes, schools, children’s groups, and families.
“People pray for us in different parts of the world. Amid the difficulties, we know that people are praying for us and helping Sierra Leone.”
“It was from here, from Syria, Palestine, Jordan and what is today Israel, that the first Christians came.”
The first time they were able to attend Mass, they were so overcome that they could only cry.
The Catholic community in Afghanistan had been organized under a sui iuris mission (a small independent mission under the direct jurisdiction of the Vatican). The procurator general of the Barnabites, Father José Carbajal, had explained that “ever since the beginning of the Barnabite presence in Afghanistan, our mission has been exercised within the Italian Embassy in Kabul.
Former US international religious freedom ambassador Sam Brownback warned of genocide against Christians and other minorities in Afghanistan.
At present the Christians of this country, the ‘Land of the Cedars’, make up around one third of the population. Their numbers had already seen a great decrease, ever since the Lebanese Civil War from 1975 to 1990, but there has been a mass emigration after the country’s political and economic crisis in October 2019 and again following the devastating explosion which tore through Beirut in August of 2020.
Until recent years, Catholics had to practice our faith secretly since local authorities treated this area as being free of religion. They banned us from gathering for prayers, threatened to fine us, and created serious difficulties for visiting priests.
With the report, Aid to the Church in Need wants focuses on religious freedom as a fundamental right in accordance with Art. 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.