STATISTICS for the CATHOLIC CHURCH in BENIN
VATICAN CITY, 15 NOV 2011 (VIS) – For the occasion of Benedict XVI’s apostolic trip to Benin to sign the Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation of the Second Special Assembly for Africa of the Synod of Bishops, due to take place from 18 to 20 November, statistics have been published concerning the Catholic Church in that country. The information, updated to 31 December 2010, comes from the Central Statistical Office of the Church.
Benin, the capital of which is Porto Novo, has a surface area of 112,622 square kilometres and a population of 8,779,000 of whom 2,984,000 (34 per cent) are Catholic. There are 10 ecclesiastical circumscriptions, 338 parishes and 801 parish centres. Currently there are 11 bishops, 811 priests, 1,386 religious, 30 lay members of secular institutes and 11,251 catechists. Minor seminarians number 308 and major seminarians 497.
A total of 57,771 students attend 234 centres of Catholic education, from kindergartens to universities. Other institutions belonging to the Church or run by priests or religious in Benin include 12 hospitals, 64 clinics, 3 leper colonies, 7 homes for the elderly or disabled, 41 orphanages and nurseries, 3 family counselling centres and other pro-life centres, and 3 institutions of other kinds.