Additionally, in the West African country of Burkina Faso, ACN is demonstrating that members of the Clergy and Nuns need assistance in order to live out their vocations under the threat of Islamization. To help this group of Clergy and women and men Religious, the Catholic charity is providing funding for spiritual retreats and capacity building initiatives.
“Not only in Burkina Faso, where tens of thousands of people have been displaced by Islamists and large numbers of Christians have been killed over the last few years, but also in Cameroon, Nigeria and the Central African Republic, ACN sponsors regular seminars for the spiritual strengthening of Priests and Religious,” the leadership of the organization details.
ACN is also helping the Clergy and Religious in these countries earn their livelihoods through Mass stipends and by donating means of transportation and communication.
“This ensures that Religious Sisters and pastoral workers can provide ongoing assistance to victims,” the leadership of the organization reports and provides an example of Mozambique’s Pemba Diocese where 26 Nuns are the recipients of the donation.
Making reference to the Nuns in Pemba Diocese ACN leadership reports, “They serve in a region that is one of the primary targets of Jihadist militia groups sympathetic to the cause of ISIS. Terrorism has already displaced more than 750,000 people in the area.”
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Most importantly, the Catholic charity is keeping the faith alive in troubles African countries by helping parishes rebuild their churches and the religious infrastructure that has disintegrated under Islamic terrorism.
In the predominantly Islamic country of Niger, for example, funds have been granted for the rebuilding of a Parish church in the city of Zinder.
The leadership of ACN recalls that the Parish church in Niger was destroyed in 2015 in retaliation for the publication of Muhammad caricatures by the French magazine Charlie Hebdo.
Dr. Heine-Geldern feels encouraged by Pope Francis in the work that the Pontifical organization is doing in Africa.
“The Holy Father called for active solidarity with Africa on Easter Sunday,” the ACN official says.
He adds, in reference to the Holy Father’s message, “In particular, he prays for the people of Africa who see their future compromised by internal violence and international terrorism and places his hopes in fraternal dialogue in a spirit of reconciliation. ACN is doing everything in its power to realize the Pope’s mission for Africa.”
Agnes Aineah is a Kenyan journalist with a background in digital and newspaper reporting. She holds a Master of Arts in Digital Journalism from the Aga Khan University, Graduate School of Media and Communications and a Bachelor's Degree in Linguistics, Media and Communications from Kenya's Moi University. Agnes currently serves as a journalist for ACI Africa.