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Immigrants changing the face of the Church in northern Africa

Catholic World News - June 23, 2014

The Conference of Bishops of the Region of Northern Africa (CERNA), meeting in Rome last week, centered on the phenomenon of migration, which is transforming the Church in their region, the Fides news service reports.

For years the countries of northern Africa have seen a flow of migrants headed toward Europe. But now many migrants are staying in the region, the bishops’ conference reports. Their presence enriches the Church, CERNA said.

The bishops expressed deep concern about the plight of migrants, “the frequent violation of their rights but also the trafficking of [which] they are the victims.” They denounced the tendency to treat migrants as criminals.

The CERNA bishops also expressed regret over the security concerns for Christians in Libya, noting that Bishop Giovanni Martinelli, the apostolic vicar of Tripoli, had been unable to attend their meeting.

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