- Jun 19, 2021
Getting Muslim and Christian young people together to know each other before terrorist groups can sow divisiveness is seen as key to peace in the Sahel region of western Africa, said panelists during a March 30 online workshop presented by Catholic Relief Services.
A Vatican diplomat said people are at grave risk because of violence in Africa’s Sahel region, as Pope Francis prayed for victims of a recent terrorist attack on civilians.
Malians have come to see the African nation’s Islamic clergy as a “fourth branch of government” in a country that has been buffeted by two coups in the past decade, said a professor from the University of Notre Dame who spent two years between the coups surveying Malians’ attitudes on war, peace and politics.
Pope Francis met with Father Pierluigi Maccalli, a member of the Society of African Missions, who was freed more than two years after he was kidnapped in Niger.
The bells of the cathedral in Crema, Italy, pealed for joy in the night when the Italian government announced the release of Father Pierluigi Maccalli and three other hostages being held in Mali.
Father Pierluigi Maccalli was one of four hostages released by Islamic militants in Mali on Thursday.
The rise in violence in West Africa’s Sahel region is a result of unequal access to wealth rather than clashes of religious beliefs, a new report from Catholic Relief Services said.
It’s been a particularly trying year for humanitarian workers, as they face unprecedented hurdles to assist people in pre-existing crises in 54 countries, plus a further nine which have been catapulted into situations of need by the COVID-19 pandemic.