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Christian Leaders in Cape Verde Concerned about Surge in COVID-19 Cases, Drug Abuse

Arlindo Cardinal Furtado, Bishop of Santiago Diocese, Cape Verde. Credit: Courtesy Photo

Christian leaders in the Island nation of Cape Verde have expressed concern about the increase in reported cases of COVID-19 and those of drug abuse in the country.

Addressing journalists after an audience with President José Maria Neves Thursday, January 6, the Christian leaders who included representatives from the Catholic Church, the Adventist Church and the Church of Nazarene highlighted issues discussed during their meeting. 

“Our meeting was an opportunity to address issues related to the excessive consumption of alcohol, domestic violence and sexual violence against children, aspects that have tarnished Cape Verdean society,” Arlindo Cardinal Furtado told journalists.

The Local Ordinary of Cape Verde’s Santiago Diocese said in reference to the vices they discussed, “Many of these practices occurred when people are under the effect of alcohol and drugs.”

He thanked the Head of State for the resumption of dialogue “where all stakeholders sit together to give their contribution for the good of Cape Verde.”

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On his part, the Head of Nazarene Church, David Araújo, said the meeting was “an opportunity to share with the Head of State issues that concern the social life of Cape Verdeans, especially the pandemic situation that the country is going through at the moment.”

“We are concerned about gender-based violence (GBV) and the issue of children being raped and we told the President of the Republic that the approach should be made on a larger platform where all institutions should be heard so that we can reflect and find ways and answers quickly because it is a situation that afflicts families, the country and does not leave us well in the framework of the nations of the world,” Araújo said.

The church leader called for vigilance this year as Cape Verde is still going through worrying issues and situations, especially the increase in reported cases of COVID-19 in the country. 

“As Christians and people of faith, our faith has to overcome the mountains and difficulties and we hope that the pandemic passes quickly so that we can have economic, social and spiritual development at all levels and that it is a good year for our nation,” he added.

Cape Verde has recorded 47,376 cases of the coronavirus including 358 related deaths and 41,525 recoveries.

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Also addressing journalists January 6, the president of the Adventist Church, Natalino Martins, said the current pandemic context is “very complicated and delicate.” 

“COVID-19 has brought suffering and misery to our people and we hope and pray that this comes to an end soon,” he said. 

Christian leaders are available to “strengthen the partnership with the Presidency of the Republic in order to work together and help Cape Verdean families,” Natalino said making reference to the challenge of alcohol abuse in families.

The church leader encouraged the people of God in Cape Verde "to trust in God at this delicate moment and do our part to avoid contagion so that, as soon as possible, the country may get out of this situation and that each one has the condition to work and live as normally as possible.”