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NIGERIA - "If you kill a cow the herdsmen will retaliate by attacking everything that belongs to you... burning houses, killing families, and destroying crops

Nigeria – The roots of a conflict with social and religious ramifications 

Bishop Ignatius Kaigama, Archbishop of Jos, capital of the Plateau State, spoke to ACN - Canada about one of the main conflicts in his country: the one between the Fulani herdsmen (nomads and majority Moslems), and the farmers (sedentary and predominantly Christian). 

Mons. Kaigama (a veteran and fervent defender of peace) shared his knowledge on the conflict which requires a skillful and human dialogue, in an ever-increasing quest for the common good.

Mons. Kaigama

ACN: Bishop Kaigama, could you explain what has changed in this conflict that has been going on for a few years?

Msgr Kaigama: The question of the herdsmen [referring here to the herding of cattle] who are mainly Fulani, and that of the farmers has become very complicated. Farmers cultivate their land using manual methods. When crops grow, they complain that the Fulani cows come and eat them. This situation is very worrying for them, as it deprives them of their main means of subsistence and generates strong tensions between the two communities. In retaliation, farmers attack the cows. Cows are worth more than anything to the Fulani. Also, if you kill a cow, if you attack them, the herdsmen will retaliate by attacking everything that belongs to you. Sometimes they go so far as to burn houses, kill families, and destroy crops. This is a very serious problem that we see especially in the northern part of Nigeria.

Crisis in Venezuela – Another priest shot dead in order to steal his car

The extremely grave situation for priests in Venezuela continues to be one of the major concerns of the pontifical foundation ACN.

Yet another priest has been murdered in Venezuela in the wave of violence that has swept across the country. Father Irailuis García of the parish of Our Lady of Fatima was shot three times by intruders who stole his van in the grounds of his presbytery on Tuesday 9 July. His death was confirmed in a communiqué from the diocese of Barquisimeto, in the northeast of the country, which at the same time appealed for prayers for his soul.

Father Irailuis García of the parish of Our Lady of Fatima. He was shot three times by intruders who stole his van in the grounds of his presbytery on Tuesday 9 July 2018 - Image Credit: Conferencia Episcopal Venezuela

 

Christians in India Suffer from Discrimination by Fundamentalist Hindus

These tribals celebrate Holy Mass in St. Francis Xavier Church in Mangalpur. The old Church was burnt by Hindu radicals in 1993. The spark of the violence was the unjust accusation of the then parish priest of having eaten cow. Only in 2015 the new Church could be finished, thanks to the support of ACN. Now about 200 people come to Mass on Sundays.

During his visit to the international headquarters of Catholic pastoral charity "Aid to the Church in Need“, Bishop Thomas Paulsamy of the Indian diocese of Dindigul reveals his extreme disappointment following an increase in violent attacks back home. In the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu Christians are complaining about increasing violence and discrimination by fundamentalist Hindus. Only last week, about 20,000 Christians of various denominations in at least 16 towns took to the streets to demonstrate against anti-Christian aggression. Since the start of the year, there have been reports of more than 15 cases involving violent attacks in Tamil Nadu but the suppression of the Christian minority in mostly from Hindu believers. Discrimination is also intensifying in other parts of the country.

Central African Republic - Interview with Fr Federico Trinchero

Central African Republic, Bangui: Refugee Camp on the compound of the Carmelite Monastery "Notre Dame du Mont Carmel". The Superior of the Carmelite Monastery, Fr. Federico Trinchero OCD, with refugee children.

Father Federico Trinchero, of the Carmelite monastery of Notre-Dame du Mont Carmel in Bangui, the capital of the Central African Republic, speaks about the attack perpetrated last Tuesday on the church of Our Lady of Fatima, in the notorious KM 5 quarter of the capital, and replies to the questions of ACN.

In a Rio Favela, 12-year-old Girl has Bullet-Proof Faith

Brazil, Rio LAÍS MARIA PEREIRA da Silva, 12, was born and raised in a part of Rio de Janeiro called Complexo da Maré, which comprises one of the biggest set of favelas—or shanty towns—in this Brazilian mega-city: Lais in front of home ©Aid to the Church in Need

LAÍS MARIA PEREIRA da Silva, 12, was born and raised in a part of Rio de Janeiro called Complexo da Maré , which comprises one of the biggest set of favelas—or shanty towns—in this Brazilian mega-city. Despite her youth, this girl is already well acquainted with violence, despair, and death. Her part of town is home to 17 separate communities with a total of 130,000 inhabitants. In addition to horrible living conditions—where a piece of bread often makes up a meal—the people live under the constant threat of violence. The favelas of Rio are controlled by various criminal factions that each run drugs through the alleys that make up the neighborhood infrastructures that serve as closely-guarded transportation networks. Complexo da Maré is among the most dangerous areas in the city because it is run by two major criminal groups, Comando Vermelho (“Red Command”) and Terceiro Comando Puro (“Pure Third Command”), with each dominating opposite sides of the area. They are engaged in a constant battle in efforts to expand their respective territory. Laĺs lives in a favela called Baixa do Sapateiro, on a street called Divisa Street, which means border—and the street got its name precisely because it marks the border between the territories controlled by the two criminal organizations. "They stay in the alleys, exchanging gun fire. We have to lay down on the floor in our homes because no room is secure. The shots come from the front and from behind,” says Viviane Pereira, another resident of Complexo da Maré.

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