The Diocese of Lisala is one of the oldest and largest Democratic Republic of the Congo, with an area of over 24,000 square miles. Situated in the north of the country, in the Congo basin, it is crisscrossed by the Congo River and its many tributaries.
“You are the hope of this 2000-year-old Church of ours: being young in faith, you must be like the first Christians and radiate enthusiasm and courage…You will also be a leaven of missionary spirit for the older Churches.” Saint John Paul II
In Africa, the number of Catholics is growing faster than the Muslim population. The Catholic Church is also growing at a faster rate than other Christian denominations: since 1980 Africa’s Catholic population has more than tripled to 200 million. But, above all, the growth and enthusiasm of the faith in Africa is a beacon of hope for the continent and the world at large.
From 1989 until 2003, Liberia went through one of the bloodiest civil wars on the African continent. To this day, this West African nation has still not fully recovered from it. More than two thirds of the country‘s almost 5 million population still have little faith in a lasting peace.
Exclusively non-natives, there are 4,000 or so Catholic Christians among the population of the Islamic Republic of Mauritania, a country in northwest Africa which is otherwise almost 100% Muslim. Serving this small congregation in the country’s only diocese is a bishop, priests and religious Sisters who come from 20 different countries of Europe, Asia and Africa.
The Sisters of Saint Teresa of the Child Jesus is a native African congregation founded in 1929. Today, it ministers in Malawi and Zambia in southern Africa, and has 168 fully professed Sisters. Amazingly, the congregation is still growing, as young African women continue to join the community.