The Catholic parish of Minya is still young. It was only in 2012 that the local authorities finally granted a building permit for a church in a new suburb of the city. It is the only Catholic church for the town itself and for the surrounding area. The parish covers a wide area of around 1200 km2, with the result thsat there are many of the Catholic faithful who still live a long way from the church. This has been a major problem in the past, since public transport in Egypt is very expensive and the cost of an entire family regularly attending holy Mass is a heavy drain on the household budget. In any case, the transport system is not very good. So it is by no means unusual for parishes to have their own minibus, so that they can ferry the faithful to church and back. But the young parish of Minya could not afford to buy one, and so the parish priest turned to the Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) for help. Without assistance it was almost impossible for many of the parishioners - especially the elderly, children, women and those with physical handicaps or health problems - to get to church, whether to attend Holy Mass, for catechetical sessions or for other reasons.
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The indigenous Macuxi people today number around 15,000 and approximately two thirds currently live in the Amazon area of northern Brasil, close to the frontier with Venezuela and Guyana. The remaining third live in Guyana itself. The Macuxi came into contact with the European colonial powers for the first time in the 18th-century. Over the course of time they were enslaved by landowners and forced to work in the rice fields and in the mines. In return they were introduced to cheap alcohol, leaving many of them addicted and causing great harm to their traditional village and family life.
Venezuela is currently in a state of profound economic and political crisis. Galloping inflation has turned many everyday commodities into unaffordable luxuries. The water supply is inadequate in many areas, the medical care system has virtually collapsed. Insecurity and violence are everywhere and the murder rate is rising.
The congregation of the Missionaries of Faith (Missionari della Fede) is still very young. It was established in 1982 in Italy and has been present in India since 1989, where it is known as the Missionaries of Faith. It began in India with four priests; today it already has two provinces, numerous ordained priests and a high number of new vocations. In fact the number of Indian priests has grown so rapidly that many of them are now being sent into other parts of the world, where there is a shortage of vocations.
South Sudan is the youngest country in the world today. In 2011, when the predominantly Christian and animist South of the country finally declared its independence from the overwhelmingly Muslim North, after a quarter of a century of bloody civil war, there was initially great rejoicing. However, the joy did not last long, for in 2013 South Sudan slipped back once again into a new civil war. And once again - as in so many other countries around the world - the Church is the only institution in which the suffering people can place their trust.