Bishop of Dori (Burkina Faso) Asks to Stop the Outside Support for the Jihadists

by Marta Petrosillo

“If the world continues to do nothing, the result will be the elimination of the Christian presence in this area and quite possibly in future from the entire country.” These were the warning words given to the international Catholic pastoral charity and pontifical foundation Aid to the Church in Need (ACN International) by Bishop Laurent Birfuoré Dabiré of the diocese of Dori, in the northeast of Burkina Faso, following the umpteenth attack against Christians in the country recently.

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Bishop Laurent Birfuoré Dabiré of the diocese of Dori, in the northeast of Burkina Faso.

Eritrean regime seizes all Catholic-run health services.
Sick forced from beds as 21 hospitals and clinics forced to close

Thousands of sick people across Eritrea are being deprived of vital medical care after the government seized three hospitals, two health centres and 16 clinics.

Government soldiers forced patients from their beds and out of the clinics and seized religious houses as they confiscated the 21 health institutes run by the Catholic Church, serving at least 170,000 people every year.

“It is like amputating one of the Church’s arms” says Catholic priest, in response to the forced occupation and closure of Catholic-run health facilities by the Eritrean military

by Tobias Lehner.

“The purpose of the brutal actions of the Eritrean government was to divest the Church of all services in the areas of education and health. Our work is to be restricted only to our places of worship,” the Catholic priest Mussie Zerai explained to the international Catholic pastoral charity Aid to the Church in Need (ACN). Father Zerai lives in Rome and coordinates the pastoral work for Eritrea and communities in Europe. Which are on the rise: thousands of people are leaving their homeland each year.

Their numbers may grow even larger now after the brutal actions carried out by the government of the northeast African country against Christian facilities: in mid-June, the Eritrean military forcibly occupied and closed 21 hospitals and medical facilities run by the Church. The patients were more or less thrown out of their beds. The military smashed windows and doors and pressured the staff, Father Zerai said. He reported that the director of a hospital in northern Eritrea, a Franciscan sister, was even arrested when she resisted the closure.

A Message from National Director Mr Bernard Toutounji

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Dear friends,

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Greetings. Thank you to those of you who were able to offer support in our last mailing. Many benefactors made a gift in return for a set of the beautiful commemorative rosary beads, inspired by Notre Dame in Paris. This Mirror makes numerous mentions of that tragic fire, and so we have made available again those same beads for those who missed out and are able to make an offering. 

We are now half way through the year and requests for pastoral help from the suffering Church continue to come in from around the world; if you have not been able to do so yet this year, could I be so bold as to beg from you an offering, any offering, in the coming weeks?

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India: Religious minorities worried about election results

The parliamentary elections in India ended a few days ago. The nationalist ruling party BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) of Prime Minister Narendra Modi surprisingly won the world's largest democratic election - nearly 900 million voters. According to a source close to the Church, “the victory of Modi is a source of frustration and fear to the minorities in India.”

“The five years with Narendra Modi in power have brought many concerns and been extremely difficult for us. We are fearful that the next five years to come will be still worse.” This was the reaction of one source who spoke to the international Catholic pastoral charity and pontifical foundation ACN, but who prefers to remain anonymous for reasons of security.

Modi

Above - Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi. Image from Wikimedia Commons.

“The fact that the Hindu nationalist BJP party has won so overwhelmingly is a warning signal for us, since it shows that Hindu nationalism is growing and the minorities – both the Christians and the Muslims – often find ourselves abandoned in the face of social injustice and discriminated against even quite openly for religious reasons. But also because the Indian economy has been going downhill in recent years and the poor are now even poorer than before. The poorest classes are being overlooked and the rich are the only ones who have benefited”, the same source explained.

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