Despite the anti-Christian violence which has seen dozens of Christian properties, including Catholic churches, attacked or destroyed in the Niger Republic the two Nigerien bishops – Archbishop Djalwana Laurent Lompo of Niamey and Bishop Ambroise Ouédraogo of Maradi have reaffirmed their friendship with the Muslim community
According to a message provided by them to FIDES the bishops state: “We want to renew our friendship and brotherhood to the entire Muslim community in our Country” and they thank all Muslims “for the gestures and acts of solidarity” shown during the attacks against the Christian community.
“We are united in the pain that you share with us. Our places of worship, and most of our infrastructure have been destroyed but our faith is intact”, write the Bishops. “We will build again what our common enemies have deliberately aimed to destroy”.
The Catholic Church in Niger has suspended all its activities until further notice (see Fides 22/01/2015): “The activities of the Catholic Church, which have no other purpose than to serve the people, will resume gradually, where it is possible, depending on each individual situation”, conclude the Bishops.
The SMA has a long and proud connection with Niger. Our priests have been at the frontier of evangelization there for more than 100 years. Today, our missionaries continue their work in this predominantly Muslim country.