» The Church in Africa is young and vibrant – but often persecuted and oppressed. «
Despite its abundant mineral resources, Africa is considered the poorest continent in the world. Of its more than 1.1 billion inhabitants, some 215 million are Catholic. Their number has quadrupled since 1982. Nevertheless, Christians in many countries are in the minority and are persecuted or oppressed. In addition to its pastoral efforts, the Church is also socially engaged in Africa, including in activities such as education, pastoral ministry to refugees, medical care and the protection of life. ACN supported more than 1,800 projects in 48 African countries in 2017.
In the reporting year, Africa has continued to be a continent where wars, famines and religious conflicts take place. In many regions, Islamist terrorist groups are putting the lives of Christians in danger. Elsewhere Christians have been caught between political fronts. In addition, corruption, crime and natural disasters threaten the lives of the faithful. For the future of the Church on the continent, the formation of priests remains the “best investment” to ensure that the Eucharist is celebrated and the Gospel is spread. For this reason, we fund the formation of priests, sisters and catechists as much as we possibly can.
The ongoing formation of priests in Africa is very important to us.
In total, we received 2,700 new applications from Africa. The projects we support include the construction and renovation of churches, aid for the formation of candidates for the priesthood and religious members, help for catechetical, media and educational work, assistance in the provision of ecclesiastical refugee aid and activities that promote interfaith dialogue and peace work.