October 19, 2009.
Stories of the violence against Christians in some African countries like Sudan or Kenya have touched members of the Synod in Rome. In Sudan, six Christians were crucified and tens more were kidnapped by a terrorist militia last September.
In Kenya, 1,000 people died as a result of clashes between tribes during elections last year. Hundreds of homes were burned and close to 350,000 people were forced to leave their belongings behind.
Arch. Boniface Lele
Archbishop Mombasa (Kenya)
"Why should people be mortified to violence? I mean, the people were elected should be freely elected, no throw fire, and the people why elected should be interested all the hole country. It’s not just for the one ethnic group, because we have to coexist and a live together the same people".
Cardinals and bishops in the African Synod called on the Church so that Christians don’t fall to the temptation of hate but rather fight for reconciliation and peace.
Arch. John Olorunfemi Onaiyekan
Archbishop Abuja (Nigeria)
"There are countries where there are still conflict, so they need for a reconciliation, and some countries there is no conflicts but there is no justice and therefore everywhere in Africa we have need to bill peace and consolidate".
During the meetings, some bishops denounced the activity of those Christians that have been involved in the conflicts. In some countries, almost half of the politicians are Christian, and it’s the governments themselves that sometimes provoke conflicts between tribes.
The Synod has also asked that African culture recognize the value of women. They’ve also asked for more help to be given to mothers because in the last years the number of underground abortions has increased. The bishops blame western influence for the increase because African culture has always been based on family values.