“A future with less suffering”: Catholic Charity Foundation Helping Liberia to Make Peace with Painful Past

Credit: ACN

From over 20 years of civil war and Ebola, and the subsequent poverty and illiteracy, Liberia is a country haunted by a painful past. It is reportedly one of the poorest countries in the world where life-expectancy is also low.

Through Priests and women and men Religious, Catholic Pontifical and charity foundation, Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) International, is helping the West African nation to make peace with its past years of turmoil.

According to the charity foundation, there are many priorities facing Liberia “in the short and medium term.”

“The work of priests and nuns has been fundamental for Liberia to make peace with its past, erasing rivalries and building bridges towards a future with less suffering,” ACN says in its Thursday, April 11 report.

“Lifting the country out of poverty, promoting agriculture, the health and education system, combating corruption and gender inequality are battles to be fought in the coming years. Battles that require everyone's commitment. This is where the Church comes in,” the charity foundation has reported, adding that the foundation is “deeply committed to supporting the efforts of priests and nuns on mission in Liberia.”


Liberia’s history is marked by the tragedy of the civil war that lasted almost twenty years. The war only ended in 2003 after causing more than 250,000 deaths and over 800,000 displacements across the country.

Thousands of people were mutilated or raped in the conflict, leaving many psychologically scarred.

On top of the wounds of the civil war, Liberia’s average life expectancy does not exceed 45 years. Additionally, almost half of the population is illiterate and malnourished. “The war was just one of the tragedies in this African country, the only one that was not colonized by any European nation,” ACN says.

In addition to the war, Liberia experienced Ebola, an epidemic that affected two other West African countries of Sierra Leone and Guinea, leading to over 11,000 deaths.

ACN describes the epidemic as “fearsome”, which “in truth, was never eradicated.”

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The Pontifical charity foundation has expressed its commitment to feeding the faith of the 4.9 million Liberians who are over 85 percent Christian.

The British Secretariat for ACN has committed to financing all of the pontifical foundation's projects in Liberia. 

The Director of ACN in the United Kingdom, Caroline Hull, says that this investment “is a fantastic opportunity to get to know the people and stories behind the projects” of the foundation, and to see the Church “grow in busy cities but also in remote villages of this entire West African nation.”

In a message addressed mainly to the benefactors of ACN in the United Kingdom, Ms. Hull further explains that the Catholic Church “is small in Liberia but is growing rapidly”, and that the pastoral projects of the foundation “provide Catholics in Liberia with what they need to live in accordance with their faith: access to the sacraments, construction of churches, well-trained and equipped nuns and clergy.”

With this commitment, the ACN Foundation seeks to “alleviate the suffering and nourish the faith of some of the poorest Catholic communities in the world”, adds the head of the British ACN secretariat.


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