Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By

9/15/2009 (6 years ago)

Aid to the Church in Need (www.kirche-in-not.org/index_s.html)

Our indigenous people are at a crossroads. In the next 10 years or so they will either embrace Christianity or Islam.

Highlights

By

Aid to the Church in Need (www.kirche-in-not.org/index_s.html)

9/15/2009 (6 years ago)

Published in Africa


KONTAGORA (Aid to the Church in Need) - A bishop in north-western Nigeria expressed his heartfelt thanks to a leading Catholic charity, describing how it is offering help at a crucial moment in the country's struggle against extremism. His statements come amid reports from Kontagora, in Niger state, indicating that militant Muslims have tried to stop new churches being built and even knocked them down during the night.

In response to these and other challenges, Aid to the Church in Need (ACN), the Catholic charity for persecuted and other suffering Christians, has announced that it will be giving over $190,000 over three years to help provide aid such as literacy classes, well digging, basic health care, and education for tribes in the region. Bishop Timothy Carroll, Vicar Apostolic of Kontagora said, "Without your aid these missions could not survive."

According to the bishop local people are increasingly turning their back on tribal religions, and looking towards more global faiths. Bishop Carroll said, "Our indigenous people are at a crossroads. In the next 10 years or so they will either embrace Christianity or Islam. Thank God a lot of people are turning to the Catholic Church as the gateway to God, and the gateway for progress in literacy, health, water, etc., because we cater for both body and soul."

Bishop Carroll said, "I wish to express our deep gratitude to ACN, who are making it possible for the seeds of the Gospel to be planted... please thank your generous donors." The bishop added, "May all at ACN and all your generous donors share in the fruits of our missionary labors."

ACN's help comes amid militant Islamic opposition to the growth of the Church and the adoption of Shari'a law in Niger state despite there being roughly equal numbers of Muslims and Christians.

The Church is leading the way with social programs, including literacy courses, which take place during the January-April dry season, in order not to interrupt the farming cycle. Bishop Carroll said, "As most of our indigenous people are still semi-nomadic and almost 80 percent illiterate, we place great importance on literary courses."

Those who successfully complete three years' study can go on to the courses at the Masuga Language Center where they learn to lead prayer services, and teach Bible stories and the basics of the faith. ACN's Child's Bible, God Speaks to His Children, in the native Hausa language is one of the materials used, and a New Testament and Psalms is in preparation in another local language, Kamberi.

A Church-organized well-digging team provides its services to any communities who request it not just the Catholic ones teaching them the importance of looking after their well to avoid contamination of the water. Bishop Carroll said, "By improving the quality of water we also improve the quality of health, as most of the common illnesses are water related."

Health education is key to the mission's work, and a Sister, who is a fully qualified nurse, goes around the villages educating mothers about the causes of common diseases. Bishop Carroll stressed the importance of mothers in informing the whole community. He said, "An African proverb says, 'Educate a mother and you educate a whole family.'"

Inoculation against the common killer diseases in Africa is also carried out in the mission, and AIDS awareness and prevention classes run alongside literacy classes during the dry season. Bishop Carroll expressed his hope that some of these missions will be split into parishes in the next 5-10 years.

He said that the Shafashi mission, which serves 118 Catholic communities, could already be divided in to two parishes, but due to a shortage of priests this will have to wait. While there are plenty of priests in eastern and southern Nigeria, where the Church has had a presence at least for the last century, 80 percent of the communities in the north-west are less than a decade old.

Bishop Carroll said, "Indigenous vocations are the fruit on the tree. Here we are only planting trees at present. Fruit will come in God's time. Vocations are now starting to come in older parishes."

In conclusion the bishop thanked ACN for all its support for the work of the missions. ACN's help has included the support of missions in Karenbana, Shafashi, Bobi, Nsanji Nkoso, and Galadima in the north-west of the country.

---

Aid to the Church in Need" is an international pastoral aid organization of the Catholic Church, which yearly offers financial support to between 5,000 and 6,000 projects worldwide. ACN helps the poor and persecuted churches with prayer, pastoral relief and material assistance.Following a 1984 decree of the Vatican Congregation for the Clergy, "Aid to the Church in Need" is recognized by the Catholic Church as a "universal public association of faithful".



Comments


More Africa

'Hijarbie' becomes internet sensation Watch

Image of Hijarbie is meant to promote modesty and provide a role model for Muslim girls (Hijarbie/Instagram).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

One woman gained international attention after posting pictures of Barbie dressed in a hijab to her Instagram account. LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - 2016 has been a big month for Barbie. First, she becomes available in variety of skin tones, heights and sizes, ... continue reading


Where are they going?: Number of ISIS fighters in Syria heavily drop Watch

Image of ISIS militants rise in Libya.

By Abigail James (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

The number of ISIS militants swarming Syria and Iraq is believed to have dropped from 19,000 to 25,000 fighters to 20,000 to 31,500, according to White House spokesman Josh Earnest. However, as the number of fighters lower in that area, it is doubling in Libya. ... continue reading


Horrific female genital mutilation continues to haunt over 200 million girls and women around the world Watch

Image of

By Abigail James (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Despite efforts from the United Nations to completely outlaw this horrible practice, Female Genital Mutilation continues to affect girls and women all around the world.  LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According to the UN Children's agency, 200 million females ... continue reading


Why is the USA dumping Gitmo terrorists in Africa? Ghana Bishops Conference asks tough questions nobody wants to answer Watch

Image of Ghana Catholic Bishops' Conference

By David Drudge (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

The Bishop's Conference of Ghana is unhappy that the U.S. government has sent two known terrorists to their country. The bishops have sent a letter asking the government of Ghana to send the terrorists back to where they came from. LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) ... continue reading


Boko Haram's horrific massacre leaves a trail of charred children's bodies Watch

Image of Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari declared last year that Nigeria had

By Catholic Online (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

The dreaded terrorist group Boko Haram razed the village of Dalori in northeastern Nigeria this past weekend. Fifty people were killed - some of them children, when the group marched into the village and began shooting indiscriminately. Horrifying photos of charred ... continue reading


Women tricked into sex trafficking ... BY OTHER WOMEN Watch

Image of Women continue to be tricked into becoming victims of the sex trafficking industry (StopEnslavement.org).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Women are often duped by other women into believing there are job opportunities in Dubai. After paying a finder's fee to the "friends" who get them jobs, women travel to Dubai and learn that they were really sold as prostitutes. Their passports and return flight ... continue reading


South Sudan Needs Change NOW: Sudanese leaders must put their nation's interests before their own, bishop says Watch

Image of Sudan has been the scene of nearly continuous civil war since it gained independence in 1956 (Photo by Al Jazeera).

By Elise Harris, CNA/EWTN News

Bishop Santo Loku Pio Doggale joined his brother prelates from South Sudan and Sudan for a time of rest and prayer in Rome last week, during which they were able to discuss key issues the two countries face, including decades of internal conflict and war. Rome, Italy ... continue reading


Libyan man executed by Islamic State for practicing acupuncture Watch

Image of Libyan Haaji Mohammed says that one of the men is his friend,

By Catholic Online (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

The scene on the video is familiar, but no less horrific. Two men in orange jumpsuits kneel before a black-clad Islamic State executioner and have their heads cut off with a scimitar before a cheering crowd. Libyan Haaji Mohammed says that one of the men is his ... continue reading


Terrorist attacks at Burkina Faso luxury hotel foiled; security forces storm facility Watch

Image of A terrorist siege at a Burkina Faso luxury ended on Saturday after security forces stormed the building.

By Catholic Online (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

A terrorist siege at a Burkina Faso luxury ended on Saturday after security forces stormed the building. Twenty-eight people from 18 different nations died in the attack; the 156 people trapped in the hotel during the siege were freed and taken to safety. LOS ... continue reading


The world looks on as people in Africa continue to starve Watch

Image of People are starving to death while the world looks on (AFP).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Millions in Ethiopia and South Sudan are victims of both drought and war, leaving most to starve. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Ethiopia continues to suffer extreme droughts, doubling the number of people in need of help within a span of only three months, ... continue reading


All Africa News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

the FEED
by Catholic Online

  • Is Valentine's Day...? (Take the quick survey!)
  • Palm Sunday HD Video
  • Take this thought provoking Stations of the Cross survey
  • Can you answer these four challenging questions about Lent?
  • Stations of the Cross - Fourth Station: Jesus meets his mother HD Video
  • Daily Readings for Thursday, February 11, 2016
  • St. Paschal: Saint of the Day for Thursday, February 11, 2016

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Deuteronomy 30:15-20
15 'Look, today I am offering you life and prosperity, death and ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 1:1-2, 3, 4, 6
1 How blessed is anyone who rejects the advice of the wicked and does not ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 9:22-25
22 He said, 'The Son of man is destined to suffer grievously, to be ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for February 11th, 2016 Image

St. Paschal
February 11: Paschal was the son of Bonosus, a Roman. He ... Read More