For years, Sierra Leone has been marked by catastrophes: a brutal civil war, illegal diamond and arms trading, corruption, natural disasters and the Ebola epidemic. Therefore, the work of the Church has thus far almost exclusively been social and charitable in nature. ACN undertook a project trip to the small country in the far west of Africa in 2017 for the first time. Our initiative to provide assistance in pastoral projects was received enthusiastically.
Despite all the crises, the political system in Sierra Leone remains stable, and the state of human rights and religious freedom has also improved. Although more than 78% of the population are of Muslim faith, the different religious communities live together peacefully. One of the main reasons for this is that nearly the entire country has been educated in Christian schools. Here the students become acquainted with Christian values and Christian thinking and learn to respect them. Until recently, Catholic schools were the only ones in the country.
» The ongoing formation of priests in Africa is very important to us. «
Until October 2017, the John Paul II Pastoral Centre in Freetown was considered one of the largest places for priests, religious and the laity in Sierra Leone to gather for spiritual exercises, training or retreats. Due to the dilapidated nature of the building, it was closed after lengthy discussions. In consultation with the Archbishop, we are helping to renovate the centre so that it will soon be able to reopen its doors and thus once again become a place of transmission of the faith.