AFRICA - The African Church and the challenge of the safety of her clergy

Wednesday, 25 April 2018


Kara (Agenzia Fides) – The pastoral activity of the Church is increasingly undermined in Africa by a lack of security. From Cote D’Ivoire to Nigeria, to Congo Kinshasa, etc. priests are assassinated by armed gangs (see Fides 12/4/2018).
“This increasing phenomenon is ever more recurrent. A dramatic situation which challenges and calls for action from both the Church and government”, Fides was told by Fr. Donald Zagore, a member of the Society of African Missions in Togo. “What is needed is serious constructive dialogue between Church leaders and governments to take measures necessary to protect pastoral workers in the exercise of their task” the missionary added.
Speaking of missionary activity Fr. Donald says: “one thing is certain, the Church will never stop her missionary work even if her priests are in danger, because as our Master Jesus Christ teaches us: ‘Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.’ (Jn 15:13). This is why ‘the good shepherd lays down his life for his sheep (Jn 10:13). But the Church must be able to work in safety and serenity in order to better serve.”
“It is up to the political governments of our African countries to work seriously to guarantee safety for all citizens, irrespective of political, cultural or religious affiliation. We live in an Africa that truly needs to solve problems of security ”, continues Zagore.
“The challenges to stop armed conflict, disarm militia groups, effectively enactment of programmes for the social integration of armed militia groups, reduce unemployment, institute education and school systems as a source of a better future for our young people, remain present and vital if we are to win the battle for security on our continent.
The Church in Africa must not stop on the fringes, she must be ever more visible and perceptible. This demands efficacious cooperation with the governments of our respective countries”, concludes Fr. Donald.
(DZ/AP) (25/4/2018 Agenzia Fides)