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Church in North Africa ‘more universal, less European’

April 13, 2016

The Regional Bishops’ Conference of North Africa met recently in Tangier, Morocco, and discussed the situation of the Church in the largely Muslim region.

Depending on the nation, between 50% and 90% of Catholics in North Africa are migrants and workers from sub-Saharan Africa, according to a communiqué issued after the meeting. “It is a joy for us that the Church is more universal, less European, rejuvenated.”

Bishop George Bugeja, who ministers in Libya, was unable to attend the meeting because of the civil war there. He reported by letter that expatriate workers are leaving the country, that the plight of migrants there is very difficult, and that some superiors have removed their priests and religious from the nation. At the same time, “some religious communities persevere courageously in their service.”

North Africa’s bishops also expressed their “indignation” at recent developments in Europe designed to limit the flow of migrants. “Certain groups may hope to Islamize Europe, but is living as an assaulted citadel truly the best manner to react?”


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