Brasilia (Fides Service) - The Amazon region of Brazil presents various challenges to the Church’s mission to evangelise: situation of indigenous peoples, devastation of forests, chaotic growth of urban centres, land disputes, water pollution, cultural, social and religious problems, proliferation of sects, violence, degrade of customs, etc. In the past dioceses and prelatures in this region were assisted by foreign missionaries, today drastically reduced in number while the Church in the area is still unable to face alone the immense work of evangelisation. What is more “very active non-Catholic groups take advantage of the local Catholic Church’s inability to provide adequate pastoral care for the faithful. Hence the need for solidarity from all over Brazil to help with evangelisation in the Amazon region. These local Churches urgently need the support of volunteers and missionaries as well as economic and logistic aid from local Churches other parts of the country”. This statement was made by Bishop Odilo Pedro Scherer, Vescovo auxiliary of São Paulo secretary general of the Brazilian Bishops’ Conference (CNBB).
In this perspective the Bishops have chosen as the theme for the annual Fraternity Campaign 2007, ,“Fraternity and the Amazon region” and slogan “Life and Mission in those lands ”, to increase awareness among Catholics all over Brazil “of the complex situation and undertake effective initiatives to valorise and defend that vast and endangered region of Brazil”. The slogan “Life and Mission in those lands ” expresses the goals the Catholic Church in Brazil intends to promote through the Fraternity Campaign 2007 for effective brotherhood, co-responsibility to promote life as well as support the local Church in all its organisations and expressions to enable it to fulfil its mission to announce to the people in the Amazon the Gospel of life and hope. (RZ) (Agenzia Fides 31/10/2005, righe 25, parole 343)