ACN News: Tuesday 22nd of May 2012 – MOZAMBIQUE
Mozambique: Catholic religious orders speak out against spreading violence
In a dramatic appeal, the Conference of Religious Institutions in Mozambique (CIRM) took a forthright stand against the rising tide of violence in this southeast African coastal nation, declaring boldly, “We publicly protest against the violence that afflicts our nation and claims innocent human lives.” The wave of brutal attacks is not even sparing the religious, writes Francisco Lerma Martínez, Bishop of Gurúè in the northeast of the country, in a letter to the international Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need (ACN). The causes for the exploding crime wave are the widespread poverty and glaring social inequalities. According to the United Nations, Mozambique is the fourth-poorest nation in the world. Around 23 million persons currently inhabit this land, which measures 786,000 square kilometres.
The appeal of the religious institutions continues, “Organ trade and human trafficking, rape, kidnapping, murder, armed robbery – all these acts of violence reduce citizens to hostages in their own country. We cannot imagine our nation developing without fundamental human values. These are not negotiable – on the contrary: one human life is much more valuable than any large-scale project or financial investment. We appeal to the civil population, non-governmental organisations, the media and all persons of good will to discuss ways to break out of the spiral of violence.” The CIRM protest was sparked by the brutal armed robbery of a mission station of the Consolata Missionaries at the beginning of May, in the course of which one religious was killed.
(Bishop Francisco Lerma Martinez collecting firewood en Gurue, Mozambique. Firewood is the only source of energy for the vast majority of the people)
Directly under the Holy See, Aid to the Church in Need supports the faithful wherever they are persecuted, oppressed or in pastoral need. ACN is a Catholic charity – helping to bring Christ to the world through prayer, information and action.
The charity undertakes thousands of projects every year including providing transport for clergy and lay Church workers, construction of church buildings, funding for priests and nuns and help to train seminarians. Since the initiative’s launch in 1979, Aid to the Church in Need’s Child’s Bible – God Speaks to his Children has been translated into 162 languages and 48 million copies have been distributed all over the world.
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