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.
Youth apostolate is a major priority of the Archdiocese of Addis Ababa in Ethiopia. The challenges facing young people in Ethiopia are immense: many face a future of poverty and unemployment and can only dream of fleeing the countryside for the capital, or even leaving the country altogether for Europe.
Mali is a landlocked country in West Africa with an overwhelmingly Muslim population. Christians, Muslims and followers of traditional African religions there lived together peaceably, as they had for centuries, until 2012, when war broke out in the northern part of the country, much of which lies within the Sahara Desert region.