ASIA/YEMEN – Saudi-led airstrikes bomb one of the three Catholic churches in the Yemeni territory

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Aden (Agenzia Fides) - The Church of the Immaculate Conception of Aden, in Yemen, was bombed on May 11 in a Saudi-led airstrike against Houthi rebel positions and suffered serious damage but was not fully destroyed. This was reported by local sources contacted by Agenzia Fides.
The church had been occupied by Houti rebels in early May. The interior of the church was vandalized and the bombing on May 11 severely damaged the roof and wall structures.
Built in 1960, the Church of the Immaculate Conception is one of three places of worship available to Catholics living in Yemen, mostly immigrant workers from India. All three churches are located in different districts of Aden. The church of the Immaculate had been used from 1973 to 2001 as home to the offices of the ministry of culture, and was then restored and used as a place of worship.
In the Arabian Peninsula country ravaged by war there is currently one of only four Indian Catholic priests in charge of the pastoral care of the local Catholic community. Two of them had to leave Yemen. The fourth, who was outside the country at the time of the outbreak of the conflict, is waiting to return. All of the twenty Sisters of Mother Teresa, who are divided into four community have decided to stay to take care of the elderly, disabled and sick. (GV) (Agenzia Fides 20/05/2015)