With the New Coronavirus pandemic, which caused the murky COVID-19, it often seems that all the other ills of humanity have been obfuscated and are no longer shown in the media. But that is not true, unfortunately.
In Mozambique (Africa), apart from the health shock, the humanitarian crisis is a sad and bitter reality. The Mozambican people urgently need a sign of hope in the face of the serious social, political and economic problems that exist, in addition to the terrorism and army attacks that are devastating much of the country.
Mozambique is suffering immensely from the violence of the Islamic State militias in the “Cabo Delgado” Province. Terrorist activity is placing the country in a climate of insecurity, causing conflicts that have sown chaos, the destruction of human lives, hunger and misery – a desolate scenario!
Since the arrival of the Islamic State in the region of “Cabo Delgado”, thousands of people have been barbarically killed and tortured, especially young people, children and women. Thousands more have been forced to leave their homes, seeking refuge in other areas. It is estimated that more than 400,000 people have had to take refuge in other regions. There are also reports of severe religious persecution.
In the face of this distressing situation, many humanitarian institutions are joining forces to defend life and alleviate the suffering of Mozambicans. The Catholic Church, the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul (SSVP), the Vincentian Family and various other civil and religious organizations are looking for alternative ways to help the most vulnerable.
Local efforts are marvelous, but obviously insufficient to respond to the gravity of the situation. The Society of St. Vincent de Paul has 32 Conferences throughout the country, with a total of 1,500 members. Our numbers are modest, but the work of charity is being done in the best possible way, with the limited resources we have.
Because of this serious situation, the Council General International today launches an APPEAL FOR PEACE IN MOZAMBIQUE, asking that all members worldwide, whether or not they are in Conference (because of the pandemic), include MOZAMBIQUE in their daily and collective prayers. We pray to God that peace will return quickly to the Mozambican people. We also pray to God for the safety and health of the people who are denouncing this unfortunate situation.
The Council General, in union with the National Council, is considering more concrete forms of financial support too. We will soon have new information to share with all the member countries of our International Confederation so that we can help more effectively through social and missionary projects.
“Terrorism is a wound that still persists in humanity. It destroys lives and destroys people’s dreams. We are all called to extend a charitable gaze to those affected by terrorism. We invite the SSVP members and Vincentian Family branches of the whole world to pray for peace and reconciliation in Mozambique”, exhorted our 16th President General, brother Renato Lima de Oliveira.