Monthly Archives: April 2016

A silent but active Church

Bound by Somalia, Ethiopia and Eritrea, Djibouti, where religion is concerned, religion, can be more closely compared to the first of them. Islam is indicated as the State religion in the constitution, and 94% of its inhabitants are Sunni Muslims, with the remaining 6% constituted mainly of foreign-born citizens and expatriates. Despite long historic ties…

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DR Congo. The illegal mineral networks and terrorist groups

According to Remy Kasindi, Director of Research at the Centre for Research and Strategic Studies in Central Africa (a think tank based in Bukavu) terrorist organisations have infiltrated the illicit mineral networks in the region. Kasindi explained that terror groups such as al-Shabaab and the Allied Democratic Forces-National Army for the Liberation of Uganda (ADF-NALU)…

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The magic crocodile

There was once a very big cave.  It was divided into two parts being dry and the bottom part filled with water.  In the bottom part there lived a crocodile. The crocodile did not live alone in the cave, for various other wild animals stayed there too.  They lived in the dry part and various water…

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Iran and Saudi Arabia: The Religious Roots of a Political Conflict

The conflict between Iran and Saudi Arabia has political, economic, cultural, and religious roots that reach back to the origins of Islam. Subsequent history has only embittered it and made matters worse. Both Iran and Saudi Arabia have been fighting one another on Yemeni soil for a year now, one side aiding Yemen’s Sunnis, and…

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Music. Akendengué, fifty years of challenges.

At the beginning of his career he has been called “the African Bob Dylan”, and – although he has questioned this comparison from time to time – Gabon music legend Pierre Akendengué has some features in common with his much more famous colleague. Like the American singer and songwriter, in fact, Akendengué can be compared…

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Djibouti at a crossroads

Ismail Omar Guelleh’s latest wish is to turn Djibouti into Africa’s Singapore, which probably means also wanting to be regarded as the Horn nation’s Lee Kuan Yew, the father of a somehow new country. So far, the bet is far from won, but judging from the past, the 68-year old strongman will not be afraid…

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Syria. Concrete acts of hope

The Jubilee of Mercy in a city torn apart by civil war. Father Ibrahim Aisabagh, Parish of the Roman Catholic Church of St. Francis in Aleppo, talked with us about his experience. After a short truce, five missiles hit Azizieh, a mainly Christian area not far from the Church of St. Francis, which, in turn,…

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Algeria. The spirit of Tibhirine still lives on.

The memory of the Trappist monks from the Our Lady of Atlas Abbey of Tibhirine, who were assassinated twenty years ago, is still alive. We met with Father Jean Marie Lassausse, who is in charge of the monastery of Tibhirine. Father Lassausse never gets tired of telling people the story of the French monks who…

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Ethiopia. Boosting tourism in the “Land of origins”

The country is determined to expand tourism revenues threefold by 2020. But despite its unique heritage, the objective is challenging, owing to a number of factors including drought and insecurity in some areas and around the country. Ethiopia is ambitioning to transform its tourism sector and increase threefold its share to the GDP (4.5 percent…

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Pirates and migrants

If France has somehow neglected Djibouti for a decade, in the last few years the European Union as a whole has been interested in the Horn of Africa Republic at least from a strategic point of view. The vessels taking part in the EU first joint naval mission, the anti-piracy operation EUNAVFOR Atalanta, are in…

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Build bridges and give people hope through presence and documents.

How are they useful, the Pope’s visits and documents, and the religious organizations for the changes our society and culture need to shape a better world? An answer was offered on 9 November  2015. That day, hundreds of Catholic students from across the United States gathered on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol in…

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Indonesia. The ‘PusPas’ Pastoral Centre

The Island of Sumba is part of  the southern  archipelago of the Lesser Sunda Islands in Indonesia. A small Christian community lives there practicing the Gospel through understanding and respect for traditions. Lukas is very good at grabbing his audience’s attention and if one listens to him he cannot but acknowledge that biblical stories are…

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Rely on one own strength first.

We are in Pikine, a Dakar suburb, Senegal. Father Armel Duteil, is the one telling the story. He is an 80-year-old Spiritan missionary. French by…

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The Water-Buffalo and the Tiger.

Once there lived a hard-working farmer in a small village who had a water-buffalo. Every day, with his plough on his shoulder, he led his water-buffalo…

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Youth & Mission

Nine Challenges Facing Young People in Syria.

For over nine years, violence and displacement have devastated opportunities for youth across the country. Here are nine of the most pressing challenges facing young people…

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