Freetown (Agenzia Fides) - "Christians are a strange people because they live in a damned world and yet they say it has been redeemed", said the Archbishop of Freetown Eduardo Tamba Charles, quoting the German philosopher Martin Heidegger.
The occasion was the Christmas message, addressed to the country and shared on Sunday, December 18, on the great sense of resilience shown by the population between COVID-19 and the consequent economic implications further aggravated by the war in Ukraine.
"Much of the world was recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic when Russia invaded Ukraine, calling it a 'special operation', the effects of which are being felt around the world. Yet, in the midst of these calamities, we Christians are preparing to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace", the Archbishop says. "Is there something wrong with us Christians? Are we mad or indifferent to all this suffering?", he asks, stressing that despite the difficulties, including conflicts and wars in many African countries, Christians keep hope.
The fragile economies of many nations, especially those in developing countries, are on the verge of collapse under the weight of the high cost of fossil fuels and basic necessities. "In many parts of the world, including the African continent, there are conflicts and wars of different types and degrees. In addition there are natural disasters, such as floods, landslides, droughts and famines caused by adverse weather conditions attributed to global warming and climate", the Local Ordinary of the Archdiocese of Freetown says, commending the people of God for their resilience amid these overwhelming trials. The Archbishop, who is also President of the Interreligious Council of Sierra Leone (IRCSL) recalled how "Almighty God decided to send His Son, Jesus Christ, to save mankind from sin in a rather messy situation. God's intention, said the president of the IRCSL - was also "to restore to man and woman their noble origin as creatures in the image and likeness of God and to restore them joint heirs to his kingdom through his Son, Jesus Christ".
Archbishop Tamba Charles encouraged the faithful in difficulty never to lose faith in God. "It is in difficult situations, such as those experienced by people, that Jesus was born. The world has not changed, even though the world's population has increased greatly, technology has developed enormously and medical services have made great strides, the desire of men and women to dominate their fellow men, and in some cases, to exploit them for their own benefit, has not changed".
"Although we are aware and in most cases many of us are victims of the difficult economic and climatic conditions of our countries or communities, we nevertheless believe that God is trustworthy and therefore will bring finally the peace that he promised to his world. It is in this spirit that we celebrate each year with joy the birth of Jesus Christ, confident that the peace that God promised to the world through his Son will one day become in God's way and time, a reality. In the meantime, let us be God's ambassadors for peace, love, forgiveness and reconciliation in situations of hatred and conflict", he concluded. (AP) (Agenzia Fides, 20/12/2022)