Tunis, 14 February, 2020 / 1:15 am (ACI Africa).
Dozens of Catholic dignitaries and hundreds of faithful gathered at the Saint Vincent-de-Paul Cathedral in Tunisia Saturday, February 8 for the Episcopal Ordination of the Bishop of Constantine in Algeria, French-born Monsignor Nicolas Lhernould.
Such a ceremony had not taken place for 60 years in Tunisia.
The last episcopal ordination in Tunisia dates back to 1962, six years after independence, and took place in Carthage Cathedral, which has since been desecrated and become a cultural centre.
North Africa was one of the high places of Christianity in the first centuries AD. At present, the small Catholic community in Tunisia is mainly composed of foreigners, who have come from sub-Saharan Africa for their studies or in search of a better life, or from Europe for their work.
The Constitution of 2014 established freedom of conscience and worship in Tunisia, but atheism is frowned upon and conversions remain limited and difficult to accept by the many Tunisians.