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Catholicism spreads in Africa challenges rising violence levels

Catholicism in Africa is spreading at a faster rate than in the rest of the world. Throughout the world, Catholicism has grown from 1,272 billion in 2014 to 1,285 in 2015, representing almost 18 percent of the human population. This increase was significantly noticed in Africa, where 19.4 percent of Africans are Catholics.  Oddly enough, other statistics show that the violence levels are also increasing. From 2015 to 2016 the murder rate increased 4.9 percent and the assault numbers rose 1.7 percent. Now movements like Catholic Action are trying to reach African citizens through peace.  FR. SALVATORE NICITERESTSE Coordinator, Catholic Action (Africa) "We are doing something for the good of the people, for the good of the people. Above all, our bishops invite everyone at every moment. They especially invite politicians to help solve the problems we have through dialogue and not with violence.â? According to this researcher at the University of Natal in South Africa, to minister to everyone on the continent, the Church also needs help from existing Catholics to simmer the conflicts and violence that exist.   PAULUS ZULU Researcher, University of Natal (South Africa) "I think the Church is just one of the organs that could help. I mean the problem is much, much bigger to be honest. The problem of underdevelopment, which is in a sense a product of human engineering in the case of Africa is big. It does not only need the Church alone. The Church can be one of the players; however, the Church also has a very huge audience in other words empowering the ordinary person, the ordinary parishioner is part of the Church's program.â? Thus, underdevelopment is only one of the major problems in Africa. Many issues stemming from racism or disagreements on the refugee situation are being approached with violence. So, the future of the Catholic Church and the future of peace rests not only with the current generation, but with the future ones.   FR. SALVATORE NICITERESTSE Coordinator, Catholic Action (Africa) "The problem is that the youngsters who are impressionable enter into these problems and kill others, which leads to poverty issues. Then there are the problems with killing. After all this, there are problems of lack of hope, especially for the young because of a lack of work. And this is a very serious problem.â? While these problems are in the process of being solved, they are not stopping the African people from holding on to faith. The Democratic Republic of Congo is more than 43 percent Catholic, and other countries in Africa are also witnessing a surplus of priestly vocations and growing rate of Catholicism.  MB AA/MG -? -PR Up: JMB