NEW YORK: Christians continue to be Persecuted in Africa, Nuncio to Kenya and S Sudan says

ALBANY, JULY 03, 2015 (CISA) – “Recent events that have taken place in different parts of Africa show that there are still men and women who continue to bear witness to their faith in God by offering their very lives,” Archbishop Charles Balvo, Apostolic Nuncio to Kenya and South Sudan said June 29.

He was speaking during a prayer service organized by the Catholic Archdiocese of New York’s Office of Black Ministry at Holy Family Church, the National Catholic Reporter reported.
The event drew attention to the ongoing persecution and killing of Christians in Africa.

Archbishop Balvo said that in the few years he has lived in Nairobi, he has learned of other names that can be added to the list of those African men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice of their lives in the profession of their faith in Christ.

“The list should include Blessed Isidore, Bakanja, Daudi Okelo, Jildo Irwa and Anuarite Nengapeta, all of whom were killed for their beliefs,” he said.

He went ahead to mention more recent martyrs who included, the Kenyan bus passengers, most of whom were teachers, and quarry workers, who died in a terrorist attack last year; nearly 150 students shot at Garissa University College; and the Coptic Christians in Libya, who were first kidnapped and then put to death last February.

“The modern martyrs of Africa may seem weak in the eyes of their persecutors but, like those who have gone before them, by their suffering and death they show forth and make manifest the power of God,” said the Archbishop.

He noted that the Catholic Archdiocese of Nyeri in Kenya is beginning the process of recognizing more than 70 martyrs from the Mau MauUprising, a military conflict in Kenya during the 1950s.
The Archbishop added that those who suffered from anti-Christian violence in Nigeria and other neighbouring countries should also be remembered in prayers.

He concluded by saying that recent African martyrs as well as those from past ages “give us a timeless example of faith, a faith that does not fail” and plants the seeds for further growth of the Catholic Church.

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