Catholic Bishops in Benin Concerned about “high cost of living, growing poverty”

Members of the Episcopal Conference of Benin (CEB). Credit: Presidency of Benin

Catholic Bishops in Benin are concerned about the “high cost of living and growing poverty” in the West African nation.

In a collective statement, members of the Episcopal Conference of Benin (CEB) who concluded their second Ordinary Session for the pastoral year 2022-2023 on Thursday, January 5 express their solidarity with families experiencing hardships.

“We are concerned about the high cost of living and the growing poverty in our country,” CEB members say in their message shared with ACI Africa Friday, January 6.

The Catholic Bishops note that “a good portion of the population continues to hope for better living conditions to meet their basic needs.” 

They encourage the government of Benin to “continue its efforts to improve the living conditions of the less privileged.”


In their January 5 collective statement issued at the end of their three-day meeting in the Archdiocese of Cotonou, CEB members congratulate the government of Benin for the initiatives undertaken to “improve the daily lives of our people.”

“This is reflected, among other things, in the decision to increase the salaries of state employees,” the Catholic Church leaders say, and add, “This is an encouraging step that deserves to be welcomed.”

The second Ordinary Session of the Catholic Bishops in Benin examined issues relating to ecclesial, social, political, and security.

In their January 5 collective statement, CEB members renewed their call for legislative elections that need to be “free, transparent, truly inclusive and peaceful.”

“We, the Bishops of Benin pray for a good outcome of the elections,” CEB members say about legislative elections scheduled to take place on January 8, and add, “We renew our call for a transparent, truly inclusive, democratic, and peaceful electoral process.”

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The Catholic Church leaders also urge “all the sons and daughters of Benin, whatever their political affiliation, to work for justice, peace and national unity by putting general interest above particular interests.”

“We invite all Catholics, as well as all men and women of goodwill, to fast and pray for the smooth running of the entire electoral process,” CEB members say in their 5-page statement, and implore, “May the God of mercy keep the worst from us and continue to bless Benin.”

Reflecting on insecurity in the West African nation, the Catholic Church leaders note that “despite all the remarkable efforts made by the government, the situation remains worrying.” 

“Robberies, acts of vandalism, thefts, and kidnappings continue to disturb the serenity of our peaceful citizens,” CEB members say. 

They express concern about this situation, which “continues and considerably slows down the development of our country.” 


The Catholic Bishops urge the authorities in charge of national security “not to lower their guard.”

They also invite the people of God in Benin “to be vigilant and to collaborate with the forces of law and order for more efficiency in order for peace and serenity to return.”

CEB members also note with sadness the resurgence of traffic accidents that “cause significant material damage, sometimes with loss of life, plunging families into mourning and distress.”

They urge the citizens of Benin to be “more responsible, and especially the drivers of all vehicles (trucks, cars, motorcycles) to strictly respect the Highway Code, in order to preserve their lives and those of other road users.”

CEB members encourage relevant authorities in Benin to go on with initiatives in raising awareness about road safety “and improving the road network of our country.”

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Jude Atemanke is a Cameroonian journalist with a passion for Catholic Church communication. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of Buea in Cameroon. Currently, Jude serves as a journalist for ACI Africa.