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Rome Reports

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World Mission Day: Faith is growing in poor countries

This Sunday, the Catholic Church celebrates World Mission Day and the Vatican is reminding Christians that evangelizing is the responsibility of everyone. It should be "like the beating of the heart."

CARD. FERNANDO FILONI
Prefect, Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples
"Inside the Christian faith, there is an impulse. And from this impulse the whole body lives. If the impulse stops, we have a moment of crisis, a shock." 

Europe could be one continent experiencing this shock. According to data from Fides News Agency, Catholics have decreased by one million three hundred thousand. On the other hand, the cardinal says that in needy countries, their experience of the Church is more lively and growing.

CARD. FERNANDO FILONI
Prefect, Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples
"I was recently in Africa for the consecration of three bishops and the creation of two dioceses in Equatorial Guinea. The Mass was five hours long, five hours! But they say, 'Of course. I did not walk many miles on foot to arrive here for a ceremony that lasts 20 or 30 minutes, or an hour. At least, since we're here, let's enjoy the party." 

The number of lay missionaries has also decreased by 17,000. The Vatican says this is the challenge of the Church today: that the laity forget the incorrect idea that being missionaries is a religious thing and that they too should work in this regard.