Seminarians at Prayer during holy Mass in the seminary chapel in the diocese of Kafanchan 
© Aid to the Church in Need

The Nigeria-based terrorist organisation Boko Haram is now notorious throughout the world for the brutality of its attacks. What is less well known is the fact that Islamist nomadic Fulani tribesman are now also engaging in similar activities, burning down villages and launching other kinds of brutal attacks on other Nigerians. In 2016 alone, in the northern Kaduna State, around a thousand people were murdered by Fulani extremists, while hundreds more were injured and dozens of villages burned to the ground. Many of these attacks were deliberately targeted against Christians, and again and again their churches in particular have been destroyed.

A villager receives the absolution in the sacrament of Penance with the new boat
in the back ground 
© Aid to the Church in Need

The Catholic territorial prelature of Tefé lies in the state of Amazonas in Northwest Brazil. The prelature alone covers an area of over 265,0002 km - roughly the size of Italy - and vast sections of it are accessible only by river. The distances are immense.

Camelite sisters behind the altar in the entrance of their monastery for Corpus Domini © Aid to the Church in Need

The pilgrims in Fatima who arrived early on 13th September at the Chapel of the Apparitions were greeted with a somewhat unusual sight - a statue of the Infant Jesus of Prague being carried in the arms of a religious sister in front of the statue of Our Lady of Fatima. This image of the Christ Child, dressed as King in festive white robes, was later that day to enjoy a great triumph when, at the end of the Solemn Holy Mass on the square of the Fatima shrine, it was solemnly presented by Cardinal Dominik Duka, the Archbishop of Prague, to Bishop António Augusto dos Santos Marto of Leiria-Fatima, in whose diocese the famous Fatima shrine is of course situated. 


Bishop Cyr-Nestor Yapaupa negotiating with rebel forces © Aid to the Church in Need

Sadly, the Central African Republic has never truly known peace. In the 57 years since it gained independence, this country - one of the poorest in the world - has suffered one military coup after another. It is hard to keep track of all the different armed groups in the country today. Their names may differ but the crimes they commit are the same everywhere - looting, burning, rape, abduction, murder.

Red Wednesday is a commendable initiative - Cardinal Piacenza the international President of Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) 
• An Interview with His Eminence Cardinal Mauro Piacenza, International President of Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) 

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