A New Church for the Catholics of Ethiopia
With the help of ACN donors, Catholics in Pawe, Ethiopia, have fulfilled their long-standing dream. At last, these faithful in northwest Ethiopia have a “proper” church of their own. And it was thanks to the $57,700 contributed by our benefactors that we were able to help see their dream fulfilled.
Resettled here in the 1980s in a brutal mass deportation, the people living here today have seen hard times in the past. Some 15,000 people were deported to Pawe, including 3,000 Catholics. They found themselves in an inhospitable region, facing extreme heat and drought such as they had never experienced before in their lives. These harsh living conditions were further exacerbated by a dictatorship regime, which banned any form of religious expression. As a result, the people were deprived even of the consolation of the sacraments and the life of the Church. At most they could only practice their faith in secret and at the risk of severe punishment. Yet despite this, they remained faithful to their beliefs.
Following the collapse of the regime, which was ultimately responsible for the deaths of an estimated 2.5 million people, the Christian faithful were at last free to live their faith openly once again. They built a small mud chapel with their own hands, but it collapsed again in the next rainy season. Again and again they tried to build a permanent chapel, but they were never able to raise the money to do so. And the mud chapels they were able to build were far too small for the ever-growing number of Catholic faithful.
Now, thanks to the generosity of our benefactors, they have at last been able to build a beautiful and solid church in which Holy Mass can be worthily celebrated and they can all gather together to pray.
They send their heartfelt thanks to all who have made this possible!
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