Catholic bishops from North Africa urged greater support for Church life in their region, where migrants from sub-Saharan Africa now make up a large proportion of Catholic communities.
In a statement following its February plenary in Senegal, the Regional Bishops’ Conference of North Africa said Catholic communities in the Maghreb, as the region is known, had taken in sick migrants from sub-Saharan Africa, as well as single mothers, unaccompanied children, uprooted students and those in prison.
The bishops said they had met in Senegal, one of the world’s poorest countries, to get to know more about one of the nations from which migrants fled. They said they were grateful to Church organisations for helping tackle ‘one of the major dramas of the new century’.
‘In North Africa, we are in the heartland where this life-and-death drama is being lived out. Migrants are not just a political issue, but real people,’ the bishops said.
‘We emphasise the immense need of migrants to be heard, given the loneliness and interior ordeal so many are living through,’ said the bishops.
‘We are confident the conscience of peoples, and above all of ecclesial communities, will know how to encourage and support those seeking worthier and most just ways forward.’
Picture: A group of migrants from sub-Saharan Africa cover themselves with blankets given by the Spanish Red Cross after being rescued off the coast of Ceuta, the Spanish enclave in North Africa, in 2016. Catholic bishops from North Africa urged greater support for Church life in their region, where migrants from sub-Saharan Africa now make up a large proportion of Catholic communities. (CNS photo/Rafael Pena, EPA).