Bolivia has long been the poorest country on the South American continent. Even though the economic situation has slightly improved recently, there has been little sign of any benefit for large sections of the population. All this applies to the city of Cochabamba, Bolivia‘s fourth-largest. The Carmelite Sisters of the Most Sacred Heart have been working since 2005 in two parishes in Quillacollo, a western suburb of Cochabamba.
Catholics make up only a tiny minority in Pakistan: just a little over 1% of a total population which is 96% Muslim. Generally, Christians belong to the lowest levels of society and are not even viewed as full and equal citizens by most Pakistanis. They face abuse, discrimination and even persecution, including violent attacks.
The far northeast of India is linked to the rest of the country only by a narrow corridor of land. It is one of the poorest regions in India and an area of frequent unrest. In relative terms, the Catholic Church is quite young here. It began to spread here only around the end of the 19th century – and in many regions only in the last few decades. There are some 2 million Catholics living in this region, most of whom belong to ethnic minorities.
The people of the Gumuz tribe live in western Ethiopia, close to the border with Sudan. Until just a few years ago, they were a mainly nomadic people, but in the late 19th century and well into the 20th century, many of the Gumuz people fell victim to Arab slave traders from Sudan.
The terror of Boko Haram lives not only in Nigeria, but in the northern part of Cameroon, too. While organized armed attacks by Boko Haram have decreased in the face of a united military offensive by several African countries, there continue to be suicide bombings, murders and abductions in the affected areas. Many people are still living in fear. The Catholic Diocese of Maroua-Mokolo in the Far North Region of Cameroon must contend with this reality.