In 2015, the Pope John Paul II Youth Pastoral Center was first established in Sarajevo, the capital of the state of Bosnia-Herzegovina. It is open to all young people, without distinction as to faith or ethnic origin. It was formally blessed by Pope Saint John Paul II, for whom young people were especially important and who introduced many lasting initiatives for the young, most notably the World Youth Days.
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 “Bethlehem Mission” (Missao Belem) is a lay spiritual community of people who devote themselves to caring for the homeless, drug addicts, the lonely and all those facing a crisis or some difficult situation.
Kazakhstan is a vast country, covering an area of well over 1 million square miles, or more than a quarter of the size of the entire United States. Yet it has a population of just 18 million. A former Soviet republic, it has been an independent state since 1991.