- Nov 26, 2020
“I pray for the dead and the wounded, for their families and for all the people of Somalia,” Pope Francis said during his weekly general audience. Death, the pope said, is a “blight” that spoils God’s design of love and “the Savior wants to heal us” from it.
Yemen, South Sudan, Somalia and northeast Nigeria are all on the brink of famine, and the United Nations has called this the largest humanitarian crisis in the 70 years of its existence. The civil wars and terrorist groups like Boko Haram as well as the lack of infrastructure and isolation from the rest of the world have all exacerbated drought and food shortages to create a catastrophic situation for millions of people.
Extremist al-Shabab militants are allegedly terrifying thousand of Kenyans, the majority Christians, who have taken refuge in two churches and a school near the Somali border. Church leaders in the country speculate that the attackers are trying to influence the outcome of the upcoming elections by eliminating those who would oppose a strict form of Shariah, Islamic law.
Persecuted at home and unwanted in the Kenyan refugee complex, the largest in the world, Somali refugees struggle to find a safe place to stay. The chairman of Kenya bishops’ commission on migrants spoke up about their plight urging countries to continue welcoming refugees.
Bishop Giorgio Bertin, apostolic administrator of the Diocese of Mogadishu, Somalia, has urged stronger support for new Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo, who took office in February, as well as local governments responding to the drought and beginning development projects.
The Roman Catholic Church is one of the only entities providing real and meaningful relief and protection in some of the world’s most desperate spots. It is trying to fulfill Pope Francis’s wishes for it to act as a ‘field hospital’ for the masses rather than focusing only on putting people in the pews.