Faced with Many Challenges, “Africa needs in-depth evangelization”: SECAM President

Phillip Cardinal Ouédraogo, President of the Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM)

In a bid to mitigate the “series of challenges” that the people of God on the African continent face today, the President of the Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM) has, in an interview with ACI Africa, noted that “in-depth evangelization” is necessary.

“We are facing a series of challenges in Africa today; this calls for a new beginning for us pastors to go into in-depth evangelization as it will bring hope to the suffering people of Africa,” SECAM President, Phillip Cardinal Ouédraogo told ACI Africa in an interview last week. 

“We must live in hope and join forces for evangelization, the new evangelization. We need to evangelize in depth and join forces to meet the challenges of our societies, especially reconciliation, justice and peace," said Cardinal Ouédraogo on the sidelines of SECAM's Standing Committee meeting in Nairobi, Kenya. 

He continued, “It is a big challenge but it is with solidarity and strengthened by Christian hope that we can overcome the challenges facing all the Churches in Africa and Madagascar.”

Referencing Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI’s Encyclical Letter, Spe Salvi, the Burkinabe Cardinal affirmed, “Our strength is this Christian hope.”


For some time now, different African countries, especially those in the Sahel region, have been facing violence induced by factors such as politics, religious conflict and tribalism and there is need for unity and reconciliation among the people.

The 75-year-old Cardinal also noted the need for "unity, solidarity and hope for Africa." 

“This is fundamental and, as Pope John Paul II says so well, the Church can only move forward by strengthening the bonds of communion among its members, starting with its pastors," he said. 

"It is truly a great challenge to be able to look in the same direction, on the same wavelength, to work together in unity and solidarity.  We could also add integral development," the Cardinal said and added, "All these challenges preoccupy us, our Church in Africa, and we try to see how together we can meet these challenges with the grace of God.”

Describing the situation in his home country of Burkina Faso as “unbearable,” the Prelate said, “we try to remain in a perspective of solidarity and in a perspective of hope that we can get out of it and we will get out of it.”

More in Africa

“If we combine all our efforts, I think that the results will be convincing and together we could take up the challenge of violence and break down the walls of terrorism, of hatred and build bridges,” he said.

“The Pope says, bridges of solidarity, bridges of fraternity for a more just, more beautiful world. That is what will enable us to rise to this great challenge of violence and terrorist attacks,” the Cardinal said, citing Pope Saint John Paul II.