Cotonou, 16 April, 2021 / 2:13 pm (ACI Africa).
A significant number of Catholics in Benin have been said to have one foot in the Church and another one in indigenous ways of worship after over a century of Missionary work in the West African country.
The Catholic Church in Benin is celebrating 160 years of evangelization with roots to the arrival on 18 April 1861 of Fr. Francesco Borghero and Fr. Francisco Fernandez, missionaries of the Society of African Missions (SMA) in the country.
The two were not the first missionaries to come into contact with the subjects of the powerful Kingdom of Dahomey (a pre-colonial kingdom in Benin), Agenzia Fides has reported.
However, with the two missionaries, there was, for the first time, “a project by the Catholic Church to create a stable presence of missionaries in those lands, already frequented by Europeans for the trafficking of slaves,” Agenzia Fides adds in the Wednesday, April 14 report.
The arrival of missionaries in Benin and their work is said to have yielded immense fruit, with the Catholic church growing to make up a significant chunk of Christianity in the country.