Persecution Should Not “dampen our missionary zeal”: Catholic Bishop in Angola

Bishop Maurício Agostinho Camuto of Angola’s Catholic Diocese of Caxito. Credit: Radio Ecclesia

Christians have to keep alive the zeal to share the Gospel, Bishop Maurício Agostinho Camuto of Angola’s Catholic Diocese of Caxito has said.

In his Sunday, April 28 homily at St. Mark Parish of his Episcopal See, Bishop Camuto cautioned against discouragement occasioned by persecution. 

“The persecution the Church suffers today is not something new. This should not dampen our missionary zeal,” he said.

The Angolan member of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit under the protection of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (Holy Ghost Fathers/Spiritans) recognized the power of the Gospel seen in how a small group of initially fearful apostles of Jesus facilitated the spreading of the Word of God throughout the world. 

“The Gospel is our strength, and nothing can limit this strength,” he said, and added, “We have seen from the beginning that a small insignificant group has today become a body spread throughout the world, so that today no one can say, ‘I have never heard of God, I have never heard of Christ'. No one can say that anymore.”


Not being able to defend Christian faith is akin to paganism, Bishop Camuto said. “A Christian can no longer behave like a pagan, as we see in our land. We see today in our land that Christians don't even have the courage to defend their Church, the courage to support their Church,” he lamented.

When Christians “are in their offices, when they are in their places of service, when they are in Parliament, when they are in ministries, they don't have the courage to defend their Church. They don't have the courage to defend Priests, to defend mothers,” he further lamented.

“If you are a Christian then you have to have the courage to witness to your faith wherever you are,” the Local Ordinary of Caxito Diocese since his Episcopal Consecration in August 2020 emphasized.

In his homily on April 28, the Fifth Sunday of Easter, the Catholic Church leader said that faith in the person of Jesus Christ and the love of neighbour are two important poles of Christian life. 

Referring to the Second reading in which St. John presents a summary of the commandments, Bishop Camuto said, “St. John constantly repeats the commandment of love, saying, ‘Have faith and love one another.’ These are the two poles of Christian life, believing in Christ and loving our brothers and sisters.”

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Love for one's neighbour must be manifested in real deeds and not in manipulated deeds, as some rulers and politicians do in Angola, he said, and continued, “The Evangelist John is concerned with showing the Christians of his community the signs that show or confirm a true conversion.”

“The ability to love with works in truth is the sign that shows that a person lives according to faith in Christ,” Bishop Camuto further said.

He went on to fault leaders, who are keen on parading their acts of charity.

“When we see a leader, who goes to a village, a town and offers a few machetes, a few hoes, the radio has to be there, the television has to be there; this is not charity,” he said. 

True charity, Bishop Camuto emphasized, “isn't self-interested; those who practice true charity don't seek publicity.”


João Vissesse is an Angolan Journalist with a passion and rich experience in Catholic Church Communication and Media Apostolate.