Oct. 31, 2014
Ebola threat causes Ghanaian bishops to urge delay of soccer tournament
The Ghana Catholic Bishops' Conference called on the Confederation of African Football to postpone the Africa Cup of Nations 2015 soccer tournament scheduled for Jan. 17 to Feb. 8 because of the Ebola threat.
Oct. 27, 2014
Retired Sudanese bishop condemns ongoing bombing in Nuba Mountains
A bishop who served in Sudan until his retirement a year ago appealed to Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir to end a months-long bombing campaign that has killed and injured dozens of innocent civilians in the Nuba Mountains.
Oct. 20, 2014
Bishop says Ebola makes Liberians feel 'God has forsaken us again'
A Liberian bishop unable to attend the Synod of Bishops on the family has urged his fellow bishops to use their influence to help West African families in their enormous suffering caused by Ebola.
Sept. 26, 2014
South Sudan's bishops warn of humanitarian disaster if war continues
Noting that thousands of South Sudanese citizens had been killed and hundreds of thousands displaced, the bishops said the country's "traumatized population has been re-traumatized by atrocities we have rarely seen before."
Aug. 20, 2014
Zambian prelate: Church without women religious 'wouldn't be there'
Archbishop Telesphore Mpundu told Catholic nuns from eastern and central Africa they deserve a commendation for doing a difficult and challenging job for the marginalized.
Aug. 11, 2014
Two Nigerian archbishops suspend sign of peace to help prevent Ebola
In an effort to curtail the spread of Ebola, the archdioceses of Lagos and Abuja instructed their priests to suspend all forms of physical contact during Mass, including the traditional sign of peace.
July 21, 2014
Bishop says world attention could save lives in Sudan's Nuba Mountains
Three years of near-daily bombings in the Nuba Mountains of Sudan have created a sustained humanitarian emergency that includes severe food shortages, wholesale displacement of people and limited access to medical care.
June 25, 2014
Kenyan bishops blame corruption, ethnic tensions for insecurity
A June 25 statement signed by the country's 26 bishops said the "situation has been aggravated further by the rising political temperatures on both sides of the political divide, which are tending toward negative ethnicity."
June 23, 2014
Sudanese Catholic woman convicted of apostasy is released from prison
Meriam Ibrahim, 26, a Catholic woman convicted of apostasy for marrying a Christian, was released from prison June 23, her lawyer said.
June 10, 2014
Nigerian cardinal supports offer of amnesty to Boko Haram insurgents
Cardinal John Olorunfemi Onaiyekan of Abuja supported Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan's proposal to offer amnesty for any Boko Haram militants who stop fighting and embrace peace.
May 27, 2014
Sudanese churches condemn death sentence for Christian woman
Meriam Ibrahim, whose father was Muslim but whose mother was an Orthodox Christian, just gave birth to a baby girl – her second child – in prison.
May 20, 2014
‘Too much blood has been shed,’ say South Sudan’s religious superiors
South Sudan’s religious congregations urged the country’s political leaders to ensure that the peace agreement holds.
May 8, 2014
Nigerian church groups organize prayers for missing schoolgirls
Religious groups in Nigeria's northeastern Borno state have organized prayer sessions and other activities to support the rescue of kidnapped schoolgirls.
April 25, 2014
African churches work to become more self-reliant for funding
Although the church in Africa still faces many challenges linked to poverty, it is becoming less dependent on funding from developed countries, say African church leaders.
April 23, 2014
Catechists 'pray on the run' in ravaged South Sudan diocese
“They ran from their villages because of the fighting, and they're suffering with their people, with few possibilities of getting food for themselves and their children," said the diocesan administrator.
April 22, 2014
Bishop: South Sudan has become 'the place where God weeps'
South Sudan's civil war has taken a brutal turn, despite appeals from the country's church leaders to stop the violence.
April 14, 2014
South Sudan church leaders urge serious talks to end country's violence
In a pastoral statement released in Juba April 13, nearly four months after fighting broke out in the newly independent African country, officials of the South Sudan Council of Churches lamented that face-to-face negotiations have yet to begin.
April 11, 2014
Indian sisters nurture hope, reconciliation in teeming South Sudan camp
The Daughters of Mary Immaculate, from India, has about 20 sisters in South Sudan. Half of them serve a remote area near Wau, while the others are in Juba and have made the camp their parish, despite sporadic outbreaks of violence.
March 20, 2014
Central African bishops seek Western help to solve nation's insecurity
African countries that make up peacekeeping forces in the Central African Republic seem to be defending their own borders instead of keeping the peace, said Catholic bishops from the country.
March 5, 2014
Uganda's bishops reviewing country's anti-gay law, says church official
Uganda's Catholic bishops have begun reviewing a text of the country's new anti-gay law in order to come up with "an educated" response, said a senior church official.
Jan. 31, 2014
Bishops call for end to corruption, nepotism to help heal South Sudan
Catholic bishops in Sudan and South Sudan said there are "no quick fixes" to the conflict that has ravaged South Sudan in recent weeks, but called for an end to government corruption and a greater involvement of the church in the peace process.
Jan. 30, 2014
White Army could be wild card in South Sudan's cease-fire, says priest
A Catholic priest who fled the recent fighting in South Sudan remains hopeful that a cease-fire will hold, but worries that an ethnic militia called the White Army may refuse to stop fighting.
Jan. 27, 2014
Bishops to Zambian government: Stop intimidation, keep tax breaks
Zambian Catholic bishops urged the government to stop using state security institutions to intimidate people and warned that changes in tax legislation could lead to severe cutbacks in services that the church offers the poor.
Jan. 2, 2014
Churches inundated as violence continues in Central African Republic
Church leaders in the Central African Republic report an increasing humanitarian crisis and warn that international forces, which have been in their country a month, had not secured law and order.
Dec. 20, 2013
Christian leaders say violence in South Sudan is political, not ethnic
In attempting to prevent South Sudan from plunging into civil war, African mediators held what they described as "productive" talks Dec. 20 with President Salva Kiir.
Dec. 12, 2013
Central African leaders tell of humanitarian crisis in Bangui
The secretary-general of the Central African Republic’s Catholic bishops' conference said thousands of displaced civilians had taken refuge in Bangui's churches and parish buildings, creating "drastic humanitarian needs."
Dec. 5, 2013
Central African churchmen hope U.N. troops help settle tense situation
Church leaders in the Central African Republic are hoping the arrival of French and African troops will help settle a situation that has effectively left people barricaded in their homes in the capital, Bangui.
Dec. 4, 2013
Zimbabwe's bishops say country more polarized than before elections
"We note with apprehension that ... there are no visible prospects for improvement in the spheres of life in Zimbabwe," the bishops said.
Nov. 21, 2013
In Central African Republic, thousands turn to bishop for protection
More than 35,000 people are living on the 40-acre diocesan compound in Bossangoa, Central African Republic, seeking protection from rebels who are targeting Christians, said the local bishop.
Nov. 5, 2013
Nigerian archbishop says stampede caused by false alarm, not sabotage
The archbishop said a stampede in the early hours of Nov. 2 at Holy Ghost Adoration Center in Uke was not caused by a snake or any act of sabotage.
Oct. 21, 2013
Bishops in southern Africa take fight against corruption into the pews
The bishops of southern Africa said corruption is rampant in the region and called on all Catholics to take a pledge not to pay or offer bribes
Oct. 15, 2013
Foreign intervention against al-Shabaab necessary, church leader says
Foreign intervention in the fight against militants in Somalia is necessary, but not an absolute requirement, says bishop.
Oct. 2, 2013
Religious order urges action to stem chaos in Central African Republic
A Catholic religious order has urged international action to stem "uncontrolled lawlessness" in the Central African Republic, after one of its Italian missionaries was threatened with death by rebel soldiers.
Sep. 23, 2013
Kenyan Catholic leaders praise citizen reaction during hostage crisis
As Kenyan security forces worked to end a standoff at an upscale mall, the nation's Catholic leaders praised their fellow citizens for "the Kenyan spirit.
Sep. 17, 2013
Priest injured in latest acid attack in Zanzibar
All of the attacks have occurred on the semi-autonomous islands of Tanzania at a time when President Jakaya Kikwete has warned that religious tensions threaten peace in the country of 45 million.
Aug. 29, 2013
Many of Egypt's Christians think U.S. has aligned with the wrong side
Since the military's overthrow of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi in early July, many Christians in Cairo told Catholic News Service the United States is taking the wrong side.
Aug. 28, 2013
Egypt's Catholic leader: Don't use Christians as excuse to intervene
The head of tens of thousands of Coptic Catholics reiterated his church's refusal of outside intervention in Egypt, including under the pretext of "protecting Christians."
Aug. 27, 2013
Egypt's Christians proud of history traced to Jesus, St. Mark
Copts -- the name for Egypt's indigenous Christians -- trace their religion all the way back to Jesus who, according to the Gospel of St. Matthew, sought refuge in their country from the wrath of Herod the Great 2,000 years ago.
Aug. 26, 2013
Coptic Catholic patriarch says Egypt not controlling hate speech
Sermons coming out of the mosques are inciting Muslims against Christians, said Egypt’s leading Catholic churchman.
Aug. 23, 2013
Fear of Egyptian violence does not interfere with nuns' hospital work
It was lunchtime at Cairo's Italian Hospital, and some of the nuns who reside there were watching state television's latest announcements on Egypt's "war on terror," the expression used by the country's military and its supporters to describe the nationwide crackdown on Islamists. "It is the first time I am afraid to go out, really afraid," said one.
Aug. 22, 2013
Canadian nun: Egyptian Muslims protected church buildings after threats
Churches and other Christian properties around Egypt had already been looted, so when Catholics in Berba were tipped off that their southern village could be next, they acted fast.
Aug. 19, 2013
Christians targeted because extremists perceive they helped oust Morsi
In mid-August, three days after the military crackdown on supporters of former President Mohammed Morsi, Egypt's Catholic Church published a list of 58 destroyed or damaged Christian churches, as well as a commentary by the country's leading Jesuit criticizing the West's characterization of "poor persecuted Muslims."
Aug. 19, 2013
Text of Egypt's Coptic Catholic patriarch on recent events in country
Here is the English text of the Aug. 18 statement by Coptic Catholic Patriarch Ibrahim Isaac Sedrak on recent events in Egypt.
Aug. 16, 2013
Coptic bishop: No civil war in Egypt; foreign powers keep out
In a wide-ranging interview, a Coptic Catholic bishop said people must view Egypt as a whole and not just be concerned about Coptic Christians.
Aug. 15, 2013
Catholic spokesman defends Egyptian army crackdown against protesters
An Egyptian Catholic spokesman said the country is “facing a group of terrorists who seek to set the whole country ablaze, and we have to cooperate together against this."
Aug. 5, 2013
Zimbabwean bishops urge political parties to accept election results
As Zimbabwe's church leaders called on the country's political parties to accept the results of July 31 elections, a spokesman for the Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops' Conference said he hoped that the church can help mediate a peaceful resolution.
Aug. 2, 2013
Zimbabwe church leaders cite irregularities, laud 'peaceful' election
Zimbabwe's general elections took place peacefully and have put the country "on the path to a democratic dispensation," said Father Frederick Chiromba, secretary-general of the Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops' Conference.
Aug. 1, 2013
Peace committee says foreigners support South Sudan rebel leader
A committee of religious and civic leaders said a South Sudanese rebel leader was being supported by a foreign government in an effort to destabilize the young nation.
July 1, 2013
Central African bishops: Insurgence has ruined nation's social fabric
Catholic bishops in the Central African Republic said their country's occupation by Islamist-led rebels has left its livelihood "looted and destroyed" and its "social fabric completely torn up."
June 12, 2013
Zambian bishops want new constitution to stress human development
The Zambian bishops' conference added its voice to a growing civil movement in calling for a new constitution to promote development as a step toward improved social services and bettering the lives of the country's impoverished residents.
June 5, 2013
Congo losing a generation to war, says bishops' conference president
Congo is losing a generation to war over diamonds and other minerals in the country's eastern regions, said the president of the nation's bishops' conference.
May 28, 2013
Tanzanian bishops' head warns of growing threat from militant Islamists
The head of the Tanzanian bishops' conference warned of a growing threat from militant Islamists and urged police and government to act more forcefully against violence and intimidation.
May 23, 2013
Bishops: South Africa's plan to charge tolls for existing roads immoral
Charging motorists to use existing roads is immoral, and the new toll-road system in South Africa should be suspended immediately, said the justice and peace department of the Southern African Catholic Bishops' Conference.
May 20, 2013
Nigerian bishops hope crackdown against insurgents restores normalcy
Nigerian bishops said they hoped the government's declaration of a state of emergency would help restore some normalcy, and one bishop said President Goodluck Jonathan was just fulfilling his constitutional duties.
May 10, 2013
Central African Republic bishops: Christians subject to pillage, rape
Islamist rebels who have taken over Central African Republic are targeting Christians and their churches, and the population is "living in permanent anguish," said the Catholic bishops' justice and peace commission.
April 26, 2013
South Africa's bishops say state secrets bill fails to promote openness
The Southern African Catholic Bishops' Conference said it regrets that South Africa's parliament passed a bill expanding protection for state secrets April 25, noting that the country needs more openness, not more secrecy, to fight corruption.
April 17, 2013
Nigerian bishops: Government should be wary of amnesty for Boko Haram
Several Catholic bishops warned the Nigerian government to be wary of the consequences of granting amnesty to Boko Haram, a sect that wants to impose strict Islamic law, and at least one said Mass attendance had dropped because the Islamist sect often targeted churches.
April 12, 2013
Sudan expels secretary-general of Catholic bishops' conference
The priest said he was called to National Intelligence and Security Services headquarters in Khartoum, where he was briefly detained and given three days to buy an airline ticket.
April 11, 2013
Mounting sectarian strife scaring Egypt's Christians into leaving
Growing violence and a general "state of chaos" since the revolution have frightened some Christian families into applying for emigration from Egypt.
April 5, 2013
In Sudanese parish of refugees, priest works to give people hope
"Our job as priests is to give hope to the people. In our preaching we often talk about all the trials that Israel passed through, but God was always with them. History repeats with us. God remains with us."
April 3, 2013
Christian faith is source of Comboni priest's passion for Islam
On a recent afternoon in Cairo, Comboni Father Giuseppe Scattolin was delving into 13th-century Sufi poems at his desk in the single room he inhabits, on an upper floor of a building that also houses an Arabic language school and its related administrative offices.
March 29, 2013
After clashes in Mali, bishop says country faces 'grave danger'
In Easter message, bishop says Mali “is still effectively at war, and when we say war, we also say death and desolation."
March 28, 2013
Pope urges end to violence, looting in Central African Republic
Pope Francis asked that "a political solution to the crisis" be found as soon as possible in order to bring "peace and harmony in that dear country, marked for too long by conflicts and divisions."
March 25, 2013
Catechist recalls Abyei violence: 'We prayed the rosary as we ran'
When Bruna Maloal was a child, Abyei was a peaceful place, and every year her tribe, the Dinka Ngok, welcomed the Misseriya nomads who came to the region with their vast herds of cattle.
March 22, 2013
Syrian bishop says war saddens him, but he does not despair
Ministering in a time of war in his hometown, the Chaldean Catholic bishop of Aleppo, Syria, said: "Deep down, I'm not frightened, I'm not scared. I'm sad."
March 21, 2013
Bishops urge peace, tolerance as Zimbabwe readies for general elections
General elections in Zimbabwe, expected in the second half of the year, will be as important in determining the country's destiny as the 1980 vote that led to independence from Great Britain, said the Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops' Conference.
March 8, 2013
Kenyan bishops urge citizens to keep peace as election tally continues
The bishops thanked Kenyans for turning out in large numbers to vote for president and local officials and for maintaining peace throughout the election period.
Feb. 25, 2013
Vatican, South Sudan establish diplomatic links
The Vatican announced it was establishing diplomatic relations with South Sudan, but a church official in Juba said the move was unlikely to happen soon.
Feb. 21, 2013
Bishop in Zanzibar says church workers terrified after priest's murder
Zanzibar's bishop said priests and other clergy in his diocese are terrified after a priest was murdered outside his parish church in what is seen by many as a terrorist attack.
Jan. 25, 2013
Mali's bishops say situation has reached 'tragic proportions'
Mali's Catholic bishops praised efforts by their acting head of state to hold the country together and backed his appeal for a "general mobilization" against Islamist insurgents.
Jan. 18, 2013
Bishops ask Kenya to end ethnic violence in Tana River region
“Young children going to school have been killed with their school bags strapped on their backs,” the bishops said.
Jan. 17, 2013
Nigerian bishops caution government about religious prophesies
Five Catholic bishops cautioned Nigerian government leaders about a series of statements from Pentecostal and indigenous religious leaders portending tragedy.
Jan. 17, 2013
Bishop in Mali says people in hiding, afraid to enter churches
A Catholic bishop in war-torn Mali whose diocese lies in the path of Islamic insurgents said "people are hiding in their homes, unable to venture out."
Jan. 12, 2013
Archbishop involved in peace deal for Central African Republic
One of the country's leading Catholics helped mediate between the Seleka rebel alliance and government leaders, resulting in a peace agreement to end fighting that left a Catholic journalist dead.
Dec. 28, 2012
Senegalese Catholic helps women get education to beat poverty
A safe and free-of-charge hostel encourages Senegalese parents to let their young women leave their villages to study in Tambacounda's public schools.
Dec. 7, 2012
Congo's bishops say pact with rebels must not 'sell out' nation's unity
Over the past year, the Congolese bishops have repeatedly drawn attention to a strategy of "balkanization" of the Congo, advocated by neighboring countries that want to divide it and interfere with its rich mineral resources.
Nov. 16, 2012
Bishops urge Kenyans to choose candidates with integrity
In a country where two of the presidential candidates are wanted by the International Criminal Court, Kenya's Catholic bishops urged voters to ensure to vote for people of high integrity when they go to polls for general elections March 4.
Oct. 24, 2012
Nigerian cardinal-designate known for his work against fraud, for peace
One of the six new cardinals named today is Archbishop John Olorunfemi Onaiyekan of Abuja, Nigeria, an ardent promoter of dialogue among Christians and other religions and a vocal advocate for peace and cooperation.
Oct. 18, 2012
Egypt's nuncio: Christian complaints valid, but signs of freedom exist
Some of Egypt's Christians feel uncomfortable with Islamists in power, but there is greater freedom of speech than before the revolution, said the pope's ambassador to the Middle Eastern country.
Oct. 16, 2012
Congolese refugees fear going home but feel unwelcome in South Sudan
Refugees are caught between being harassed inside South Sudan or returning to the Congo where the LRA, although weakened, still robs, kidnaps and kills.
Sept. 20, 2012
Kenyan church leaders urge government to fix problems before election
A joint statement from Christian leaders urged the government to address ethnic violence, strikes, implementation of new constitution.
August 27, 2012
As Kenyans live with HIV, parish stresses economic independence
When Alice Khakame knew she was pregnant again, she set off to get blood tests at the government maternity clinic where she lives in Kangemi, a poverty-ridden area of about 100,000 people on the outskirts of Nairobi.
August 24, 2012
Pretoria priests express concern about violence, urge life campaign
Six Pretoria-based priests and a doctor expressed concern that violence is becoming commonplace in South Africa and urged a campaign to re-emphasize the sanctity of human life.
August 24, 2012
Kenyan bishops still seek answers about 2000 death of US priest
Twelve years after U.S. Mill Hill Father John Kaiser was found murdered along a highway southwest of Nairobi, Kenyan church officials are still seeking answers.
August 17, 2012
South African bishops call for inquiry into mine violence
One South African bishop said there are "a lot of questions and not many answers" after police opened fire on striking miners.
August 6, 2012
Health workers key in limiting spread of malaria, AIDS in Zambia
With about 1,200 physicians serving a population of 13 million, fighting the likes of malaria, tuberculosis, HIV and AIDS in Zambia is no easy task.
July 9, 2012
Religious leaders challenge South Sudanese officials to end corruption
One year after achieving independence, South Sudan remains plagued with corruption and ethnic discontent, prompting Catholic and Episcopal bishops to challenge the fledgling country's political leaders to "a change of heart leading to a change of behavior."
July 3, 2012
Kenyan bishops call for increased security after church attacks
Kenya's Catholic bishops called upon the government to intensify its security efforts in the country's north after the July 1 attacks on two churches, including a Catholic cathedral, that left at least 17 people dead and more than 50 people injured.
June 26, 2012
Nigerian bishops say anger, hatred after bombings is at dangerous level
Nigeria's Catholic bishops expressed concern that anger and hatred are growing among Christian and Muslim communities and have reached a dangerous level following a spate of church bombings believed to be carried out by a fundamentalist Islamic sect.
June 25, 2012
Christians cautious about Islamist's victory in Egyptian election
Christians expressed caution about the election of Islamist Mohammed Morsi as Egypt's new president, saying they hope he will follow through on his pledge "to be a president for all Egyptians."
June 5, 2012
Nigerian cardinal urges crash victims' families to find strength in God
Cardinal Anthony Okogie of Lagos consoled the families of the victims of the crashed Dana Air plane and urged them to draw strength from God.
May 25, 2012
Egypt's Christians support candidates who would check Islamists' power
Egyptian Christians voting in their nation's historic presidential election were throwing much of their support behind candidates who aimed to check the power of the Islamist parties.
May 1, 2012
Nigerian archbishops say government is failing to protect its citizens
The leader of the Catholic Church in Nigeria has criticized his government for allegedly failing to protect Christians in the north of his country from attack by Islamist terrorists.
Apr. 25, 2012
Religious leaders worry there could be war between Sudan, South Sudan
Late April aerial bombardments, ground-force skirmishes and especially the increasingly hostile rhetoric of the leaders of Sudan and South Sudan had religious leaders worried about the possibility of all-out war.
Mar. 27, 2012
Cardinal carries pope’s message urging peaceful coexistence to Nigeria
A papal envoy told Nigerians that tolerance was the only path to achieving a peaceful coexistence among people of different faiths.
Feb. 28, 2012
Archbishop challenges Nigerians to keep nation united
Archbishop John Olorunfemi Onaiyekan of Abuja challenged Nigerians to do everything possible keep their nation united and to resist any attempts to divide it along narrow religious lines.
Feb. 9, 2012
Nigerian archbishop says bombings might deter needed investment
Archbishop Matthew Ndagoso of Kaduna said the constant bombings in Nigeria might deter much-needed foreign investment.
Feb. 1, 2012
Thousands of Rwandans want church help to stay in Zambia
About 6,000 Rwandan refugees in Zambia want the Catholic Church to help stop the state plans to repatriate them and instead to regularize their Zambian citizenship.
Jan. 26, 2012
Months after independence, South Sudan grapples with contentious issues
The church in South Sudan and its partners in the U.S. are frustrated that their efforts to build peace in the infant country are threatened, but they have not given up, Catholic officials said.
Jan. 19, 2012
Bill protecting state secrets bad for South Africa, says archbishop
South Africa's bill on protecting state secrets could turn the country into a security state, said Cape Town Archbishop Stephen Brislin.
Jan. 13, 2012
Nigerian bishops call for negotiated end to nationwide strike
The bishops expressed concern Jan. 12 that "things seem to be deteriorating by the day" as the country endured the fifth day of a work stoppage that at times erupted into violence.
Jan. 4, 2012
Bishops accuse Nigeria of collusion, fraud over removal of fuel subsidy
A group of Nigerian bishops accused the government of selfishness, collusion and fraud and said removal of a fuel subsidy showed "insensitive timing."
Dec. 29, 2011
Nigerian bishops announce day of prayer, say Boko Haram 'declared war'
Bishops ask Nigerian president to recall retired criminologists, enlist foreign experts to find extremists.
Dec. 22, 2011
Zambian churches unhappy with US stance to tie aid to homosexual rights
The Zambia Episcopal Conference, the Pentecostal Church's Bishops' Council of Zambia and the Zambia United Christian Action said that it was unwise for the U.S. government to use its money to force other nations to permit "ungodly practices" in their land.
Dec. 14, 2011
Nun named SACBC official sees appointment as recognition of women
A member of the Missionary Sisters of the Precious Blood will be the new secretary-general of the Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference.
Dec. 7, 2011
Dealing with tribal violence just part of Kenyan bishop's daily tasks
Trying to bring peace to the people of central Kenya is a regular part of the church's work, says Bishop Anthony Ireri Mukobo.
Nov. 29, 2011
Catholic officials call for calm after Congo's election violence
"The electoral campaign that took place in a tense atmosphere has ended with a funereal note," the Congolese bishops' conference said in a Nov. 29 statement that deplored deaths in a polling station in the southeastern city of Lubumbashi.
Nov. 21, 2011
Dams of sand give African drought victims hope, optimism
Near the southwestern edge of the vast stretch of East Africa where drought has led to famine and more than 13 million people are considered to be living in crisis, Henry Lesokoyu is the picture of hope and optimism.
Nov. 15, 2011
Rape in Congo destroys women, but also society, says church official
The high incidence of rape in Congo is not just destroying women, but is destroying the nation's society, said the general secretary of the church's national justice and peace commission.
Oct. 17, 2011
Archbishop Tutu: Africa must shun anti-women practices
Africa should shun cultural practices that prevent women from advancement, retired Anglican Archbishop Desmond Tutu said at a memorial Mass for Wangari Maathai, 2004 Nobel Peace Prize laureate.
Oct. 5, 2011
Pope pleas for aid, prayers for famine victims in Horn of Africa
Pope Benedict XVI asked the international community to continue aid to the drought- and famine-stricken Horn of Africa and asked individuals to offer prayers and donate money to help save the millions facing death.
Sept. 28, 2011
Pope to visit Benin Nov. 18-20 to release postsynod document on Africa
Pope Benedict XVI will make his second trip as pope to Africa, visiting Benin Nov. 18-20 to sign and distribute a letter reflecting on the 2009 special Synod of Bishops for Africa.
Sept. 26, 2011
Zambian president tells parishioners he will base rule on Ten Commandments
President Michael Sata, 57, elected Sept. 20, also commended the Catholic Church for the role it played in ensuring that the nation held peaceful elections.
Sept. 20, 2011
Africans say church must strengthen role in election monitoring
The church must strengthen its role in observing and monitoring elections in African countries where electoral violence prevails, said church representatives from 20 African nations.
Sept. 8, 2011
Sudanese bishops call for nonviolence, patience in building South Sudan
Recognizing the difficulties facing the people of South Sudan, the world's youngest nation, the Sudan Catholic Bishops' Conference called upon citizens to join with government leaders to build a country through reconciliation and nonviolence.
Aug. 30, 2011
Faith groups seek global support as they seek reforms in Malawi
Faith groups in Malawi are calling for international support as they seek major reforms in the southern African country, a Catholic church official said.
Aug. 24, 2011
Congo's religious leaders urge security for November general elections
Congolese religious leaders expressed worries that November's general elections could be marred by violence, and they called on the international community to ensure optimal security for people and ballots after the polls.
Aug. 23, 2011
Kenyan court sentences three to death for 2009 murder of Irish priest
A Kericho court has sentenced three people to death for the 2009 murder of Irish Kiltegan Father Jeremiah Roche.
Aug. 1, 2011
Kenyan bishops challenge government to improve food security
A Catholic bishop has criticized the Kenyan government on what he described as its ineffectiveness in handling the hunger crisis developing in the East Africa nation.
July 22, 2011
Malawian bishops call for talks over rising food, fuel prices
With 18 people dead and up to 50 others injured in two days of countrywide protests against rising food and fuel costs, Malawi's bishops called for urgent dialogue between the government and concerned parties.
July 20, 2011
Malawi violence stems from government being out of touch, says priest
Fuel shortages sparked the demonstrations, but the underlying reason is the government does not speak to the people, says priest.
July 18, 2011
Bishop Mazzolari of Rumbek, South Sudan, dies during Mass
The 74-year-old prelate worked for years in the U.S. but was known for his work in Africa.
July 7, 2011
South Sudanese look toward independence, but church to remain united
Sudanese Cardinal Gabriel Zubeir Wako told bishops from East Africa that the Catholic Church will remain united when Southern Sudan becomes independent July 9.
July 5, 2011
Zimbabwe Catholic justice leader fears priests could be targeted
Bishops and priests were targeted after the country's bishops spoke out against political intolerance early this year "and the same could easily happen now.”
June 28, 2011
Nuns stay in Libya because of commitment to people, says Tanzanian
A Catholic nun working in rebel-held eastern Libya says she and other sisters have remained because of their commitment to the people they serve.
June 13, 2011
Government forces kill two church workers in Sudanese border state
Two church workers were murdered by government forces in Sudan's South Kordofan state in what one church adviser called a campaign of "ethnic cleansing."
June 10, 2011
Bishops in southern Africa urge end to violence in Swaziland
Noting their alarm at increasing brutality in Swaziland, the Southern African Catholic Bishops' Conference has urged regional blocs to act to secure human rights in Africa's only absolute monarchy.
June 2, 2011
Sudanese church leaders urge end to deadlock over Abyei
Catholic and Anglican church leaders in Sudan urged the government to end the deadlock over the disputed area around Abyei and allow resettlement for the tens of thousands displaced by the recent violence.
May 27, 2011
Sudanese bishops plan novena leading up to independence July 9
Southern Sudan's bishops are launching a pastoral program with the theme "one nation from every tribe, tongue and people," beginning May 28 with a eucharistic procession and culminating with a Mass of Thanksgiving July 10.
May 19, 2011
Catholic paper: Dictator's Vatican welcome undermined Zimbabwe bishops
Southern Africa's independent Catholic weekly defended the Vatican against criticism for allowing Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe to receive Communion at the beatification of Blessed Pope John Paul II, but took church officials to task for the warm welcome given the dictator.
May 10, 2011
African bishops say they need help forming flourishing vocations
Although African vocations are flourishing, the continent needs people to form those vocations, and African bishops visited Washington looking for such help.
April 18, 2011
Salesian fears cholera outbreak at Ivory Coast church sheltering 30,000
The priest directing a mission where at least 30,000 refugees remain said he feared an outbreak of cholera if more aid is not received soon.
April 7, 2011
Sudanese bishops urge rejection of violence as Southern Sudan emerges
Sudan's Catholic bishops called upon the people of Sudan and the emerging nation of South Sudan "to embrace a culture of peace and to reject violence" and to respect human life and dignity as both regions prepare for the formal Declaration of Independence of the South July 9.
April 1, 2011
South African church leaders: Protests are warning to political leaders
Violent protests by South Africans demanding better living conditions are a warning to the authorities not to ignore the needs of the people, church leaders said.
March 31, 2011
Nuncio says priests targeted in Ivory Coast; Caritas priest missing
The Vatican's representative to the Ivory Coast has said Catholic priests have been targeted by armed groups during the current conflict, but added that he still hopes "full-scale civil war" can be avoided in the West African country.
March 14, 2011
Priest in Southern Sudan tells of families fleeing Abyei violence
Violence in the contested Abyei region of Sudan has displaced thousands of families and threatens to derail talks leading to the birth of Africa's newest country in July.
March 11, 2011
Liberians fear spillover of violence as Ivorians seek refuge
Liberians fear a spillover of violence from Ivory Coast as tens of thousands of Ivorians fleeing political tensions at home seek refuge in neighboring countries, said a church worker in Liberia's Gbarnga Diocese.
March 10, 2011
Church launches Lenten campaign to teach Kenyans about new constitution
"We want Kenyans to fully understand the content of the new law rather than going by what political leaders say," said Kisumu Archbishop Zacchaeus Okoth, chairman of the justice and peace commission.
Feb. 24, 2011
African church leaders offer to help end impasse in Ivory Coast
African church leaders met with the two men claiming the presidency in the Ivory Coast and urged a strong role for religious leaders in mediating the impasse over the country's disputed presidential election.
Feb. 21, 2011
Priest uses energy, heart to share mission in Nairobi Archdiocese
He has the charisma of a televangelist, the energy of a marathon runner and the values grounded in faith learned in a Kenyan village with a vibrant Catholic community.
Feb. 21, 2011
Kenyan church leaders teach children everyone is a missionary
In the Archdiocese of Mombasa, along Indian Ocean coast, children from different parishes take turns feeding and spending time with children in the local hospital for the disabled. They also visit child prisoners, delivering toothbrushes and toothpaste, soap, slippers and tissues.
Feb. 21, 2011
More than 30,000 Nairobi children gather for Mass with cardinal, guests
More than 30,000 children from the Archdiocese of Nairobi had been sitting in Mass nearly four hours when the tall American priest taught them to howl like a wolf.
Feb. 16, 2011
Mission profile: Guatemalan priest in Kenya says his faith has grown
The Spanish-speaking priest has learned English, Swahili and two other Kenyan languages. Besides working as a parish priest, he has responsibilities with his order and is the diocesan coordinator for the Kenyan branch of the pontifical missionary societies.
Feb. 14, 2011
After protests, priests fear Egyptian youths will turn away from church
Two priests with strong ties to Egypt said they feared young Egyptian Catholics will turn away from the church because it did not back the protests that led to the resignation of President Hosni Mubarak.
Feb. 14, 2011
Fervor, devotion, joy: Parish Mass illustrates some of Kenyans' gifts
A parish choir in Kenya illustrates what Bishop Anthony Muheria of Kitui describes as three of Kenyan Catholics' greatest attributes: fervor, devotion and, especially, joy.
Feb. 9, 2011
Violence concerns Zimbabwe church as country prepares for election
Zimbabwe church officials are becoming increasingly concerned about heightened violence and intimidation as the government prepares for an as-yet-unscheduled national election.
Jan. 31, 2011
Archbishop: Africa's AIDS epidemic bares 'poverty of moral thinking'
Noting that AIDS is a primarily an African problem, the president of the Southern African Catholic Bishops' Conference criticized the "poverty of moral thinking in Africa" and dependency on "American-European thinking" in developing solutions to a growing epidemic of the disease.
Jan. 28, 2011
Religious in remote North ask Congo to quit downplaying LRA violence
Religious from the Diocese of Doruma-Dungu have asked the government to quit downplaying the threat posed by the Lord's Resistance Army in the far reaches of northern Congo.
Jan. 26, 2011
US-born Jesuit: Zambia must not let elections be marred by violence
Zambia must not permit its 2011 elections to be marred by political violence, as happened in other African countries, said a U.S.-born Jesuit who served for 20 years in Zambia.
Jan. 18, 2011
Irish nun says Southern Sudanese return from North out of fear
An Irish nun working in Southern Sudan said Southerners were returning from northern Sudan for fear of what will happen after results of the referendum for the South's independence are announced.
Jan. 12, 2011
Sudanese bishop: People of South marching toward goal of independence
A bishop in northern Sudan said he believed the people of southern Sudan were "marching toward the goal of what they expected, to be free in dignity and respect of rights," as a referendum on independence passed the halfway mark.
Jan. 5, 2011
Nigerian archbishop urges president to take action to fight insecurity
Archbishop John Olorunfemi Onaiyekan of Abuja spoke to journalists after a New Year's Eve bomb blast in his city and earlier violence and attacks in and around the city of Jos.
With paper and pencils, missioners rebuild education in Southern Sudan
"We came here with lots of plans, but we quickly forgot about those," one missionary said. "We had prepared PowerPoint presentations, but here there's no power. There are no books, let alone science or computer labs. We've had to provide our teachers with pencils and paper sand dictionaries."
Pope's statement rekindles calls to abolish death penalty in Zambia
Pope Benedict XVI's recent statement to a Zambian ambassador that the Catholic Church will always regard the right to life as sacred even in the face of powerful influences that seek to place limitations on life has rekindled calls for abolition of the capital punishment in the central African nation.
Catholic radio gives citizens voice on democracy in Southern Sudan
A feisty Catholic radio station in Southern Sudan has opened the airwaves to ordinary citizens to express their views on how democracy will take shape in what may soon become Africa's newest country.
Border-to-be grows tense as Southern Sudan's independence vote nears
Church workers are looking at potential flashpoints to prepare response to potential violence after the January referendum.
Border region of Abyei complicates Southern Sudan independence vote
Church leaders in the Sudanese region around Abyei are angry that a separate referendum on its independence has been delayed.
Dec. 6, 2010
As Southern Sudan seeks peace, some live with nightmares of LRA terror
When Justin Isa escaped from the Lord's Resistance Army in 2004, he bore scars on his back from being beaten with machetes. Yet he also bore raw inner wounds from his 10 months in the LRA, a Ugandan rebel group turned transnational terror force that kidnaps children and turns them into brutal soldiers.
Dec. 3, 2010
Civilian militias defend Sudanese villages from rebel army attacks
When church bells ring in the villages nestled throughout the forest along the Congolese-Southern Sudan border, they are usually calling people to Mass. Yet these days, the bells can also ring out danger, alerting villagers to the threat posed by a Ugandan rebel group that has moved into the region, sowing terror in its path.
Nov. 16, 2010
Sudanese bishops warn buildup of troops 'not conducive to peace'
The bishops called for the development of mechanisms to guarantee the will of the people will be upheld no matter what the results of January ballot measures on the future makeup of the country.
Nov. 12, 2010
Sudanese bishops ask prelates to advocate for people of Southern Sudan
Sudan's Catholic bishops urged their fellow African prelates "to lobby and advocate" for the people of Southern Sudan as the Jan. 9 referendum on independence nears.
Nov. 10, 2010
Cardinal says Sudan referendum results must be accepted by government
The head of a delegation of African church leaders visiting Sudan has urged the Sudanese government to respect the choice of the majority of the people of Southern Sudan in the Jan. 9 referendum that may split Africa's largest country.
Oct. 27, 2010
New rules cause worries for unskilled Zimbabweans in South Africa
The priest who coordinates the Johannesburg Archdiocese's ministry to Zimbabwean refugees welcomed the South African government's efforts to regularize the status of Zimbabweans in South Africa. However, he said, many Zimbabweans "are worried about getting their documents in time" to avoid deportation.
Oct. 11, 2010
Khartoum police arrest man who rushed altar during cardinal's Mass
An aide to Cardinal Gabriel Zubeir Wako stopped an attack during a Mass.
Sept. 20, 2010
In Zambia, U.S.-born bishop's statement on change escalates tensions
Church-state tensions have escalated over a U.S.-born bishop's statement that the people of his diocese felt it was an appropriate time to change the government.
Sept. 15, 2010
Ugandan bishops tell US leaders military option won't work against rebels
Two Ugandan bishops -- one Catholic and one Anglican -- traveled across Africa and the Atlantic to tell U.S. officials that regional dialogue with the Lord's Resistance Army would work better than a military option against it.
Sept. 13, 2010
US bishop finds work lags on Jan. 9 referendum in Southern Sudan
Less than four months remain until voters in Southern Sudan are scheduled to decide whether to form their own country, yet little work seems to have been completed in preparation for the vote, said a U.S. bishop.
Sept. 2, 2010
Bishops ask South Africa to withdraw bill on state secrets
South Africa's bishops have called on the government to withdraw a bill on state secrets, which they say violates the spirit of openness and accountability essential for a healthy democracy.
Aug. 19, 2010
Lay Africans, nuns feel marginalized in synod process, follow-up
Laypeople and women religious across Africa are concerned that they are being marginalized by clergy as they undertake pastoral work, despite a call from last October's Synod of Bishops for Africa to include all people in ministry.
Aug. 19, 2010
Kenyans, family gather to remember US Mill Hill priest killed in 2000
Kenyan church leaders and friends and family of a U.S. missionary slain 10 years ago gathered at a Mass to remember him and to pray that the priest's killer is brought to justice.
Aug. 18, 2010
Nigerian archbishop: President's legacy could be free, fair elections
Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan could go down in history as the man who helped set his country on the path to free and fair elections, said a prominent Catholic leader.
Aug. 13, 2010
South African bishops seek tolerance, sensitivity among clerics
Tolerance and sensitivity are needed when tensions arise among bishops, the Southern African Catholic Bishops' Conference said in response to criticism of church leadership by Bishop Kevin Dowling of Rustenburg.
Aug. 6, 2010
Church accepts voter approval of Kenya's new constitution
After spending months urging voters to defeat Kenya's new constitution because it loosens restrictions on abortion and allows for the entrenchment of Islamic courts, Catholic Church leaders have accepted the results of the Aug. 4 referendum on the document, which two-thirds of voters approved.
July 30, 2010
Bishops, others push Kenyans to vote against proposed constitution
Kenyan Christian leaders -- including the nation's Catholic bishops -- urged citizens to vote against the proposed constitution, saying it "takes away your sovereignty, now and forever."
July 23, 2010
Sudan's bishops decry lack of progress toward Jan. 9 referendum
With less than six months to go before the Jan. 9 referendum on the future of Southern Sudan as an independent nation, Sudan's bishops have expressed concern that there is not enough time to finish preparations.
July 16, 2010
Zambian bishops say draft constitution won't 'stand the test of time'
Zambia's bishops have rejected a draft constitution, saying there is no way the document produced by the National Constitution Commission "will have the legitimacy required for such an important document to stand the test of time."
July 16, 2010
Nigerian bishop: Kidnappings could affect credibility of 2011 elections
"For us in Nigeria, the new trend of kidnapping journalists has serious implications for the nation as we move toward the all-important national elections," said Bishop Emmanuel Badejo.
July 14, 2010
Zimbabwe's church begins election prep: work on healing, reconciliation
Zimbabwe might not be ready for elections in 2011, but the Catholic Church has begun work on the first step in preparation for elections: healing and reconciliation, said a justice and peace official.
July 7, 2010
Church leaders work to stem threatened attacks after World Cup
While human rights activists express fears that xenophobic attacks will erupt in South Africa after the soccer World Cup, church leaders are taking action to see that this does not happen.
July 1, 2010
Kenyan bishops set guidelines to help priests live spiritual lives
The Kenyan bishops' conference has distributed a set of general guidelines to priests to help them live their lives grounded in the vows they took at ordination.
June 22, 2010
Kenyan church leaders seek prayers as voters mull draft constitution
The Catholic Church in Kenya has called for a day of prayer June 27 as voters consider their stance on a referendum on the country's draft constitution.
June 14, 2010
Rustenburg bishop keeps humor after vuvuzelas keep him up all night
The sound of vuvuzelas made for a sleepless night for Rustenburg's bishop as soccer fans watched, then celebrated the U.S.-England World Cup tie.
June 9, 2010
Bishops urge South African Catholics to welcome the world
June 13 is World Cup Sunday in parishes around South Africa, and the nation's bishops are urging them to welcome "the world to our church communities."
May 27, 2010
African Catholic colleges urged to refocus students to help continent
Catholic college administrators in East Africa have begun a broad evaluation of the content of their educational programs in an effort to urge their graduates to become involved in finding solutions to the violence and severe poverty that afflicts much of the continent.
May 25, 2010
African cardinal: Synod walked tightrope between political, pastoral
The Synod of Bishops for Africa, which focused on reconciliation, justice and peace, successfully walked the tightrope of the political and the pastoral, said the synod's recording secretary, Cardinal Peter Turkson of Ghana.
May 12, 2010
Bishops say they will advise Catholics to oppose Kenyan constitution
Nairobi Cardinal John Njue, chairman of the Kenya Episcopal Conference, said the government had blocked church leaders' efforts to discuss clauses that could lead to the legalization of abortion and the entrenchment of Islamic courts.
April 28, 2010
South African church officials praise Zuma for telling his HIV status
Church officials praised South African President Jacob Zuma for repeatedly testing for HIV and announcing his status, saying it indicated a new political willingness to address the AIDS epidemic in South Africa.
April 7, 2010
Kenyan church leaders withhold support of country's draft constitution
Kenyan religious leaders said they will reject the proposed new constitution during a referendum in June because it would legalize abortion and keep in place Islamic courts, opening the prospect that Islamic law would become part of the nation's laws.
April 6, 2010
Zambian priests defend bishops who speak against government corruption
Priests in Zambia pledged to step up efforts to defend the country's bishops from increased intimidation by government officials for speaking out against bad governance and tolerance of corruption.
March 8, 2010
Nigerian archbishop says conflict is economic, cultural, not religious
Cultural, economic and tribal differences are feeding the bloody conflict between Nigerian farmers and herders that has left hundreds of people dead, an archbishop from the African country said.
March 4, 2010
In prayer, church leaders call for peaceful outcome to Sudan elections
Speaking at an ecumenical prayer service at St. Matthew's Cathedral in Khartoum, Cardinal Gabriel Zubeir Wako prayed that both candidates and voters would act in the best interests of the country.
March 1, 2010
Forest reserves in Ghana must be protected from mining, says cardinal
Mining companies must be blocked from extracting minerals from Ghana's few remaining forest preserves, said the head of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace.
Feb. 24, 2010
Sudan archbishop says April election can begin Sudan's transformation
With the approach of Sudan's first multiparty elections in 24 years, Archbishop Paolino Lukudu Loro of Juba, Sudan, appealed to voters to learn as much as possible about the candidates before casting their votes.
Jan. 25, 2010
Nigerian archbishop says violence more political than religious
Archbishop Ignatius Kaigama of Jos said the origin of the current conflicts, like those of 2008, was a struggle for political control of the city between the Hausa people, who are predominantly Muslim, and the indigenous residents, who are mostly Christians.
Jan. 6, 2010
South African Catholics prepare to fight trafficking during World Cup
Catholic officials are working to make sure South Africa's hosting of the world's largest soccer championship does not endanger the nation's citizens, especially women and children.
Jan. 6, 2010
Nigerian archbishop urges new attitudes now, free elections in 2011
Archbishop John Olorunfemi Onaiyekan of Abuja urged the Nigerian government to ensure free and fair elections in 2011, noting that anything less would lower the nation's standing with other countries.
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