Sunday, 8 March 2015

"Do not lose hope aroused by the Arab Spring", say the Bishops of North Africa

                "Our region is in full transformation, the universal Church knows major transformations, our local Churches are changing: we strongly feel the call of the Lord to be more than ever 'Servants of Hope' in North Africa", say the Bishops of the Episcopal Conference of North Africa (CERNA) in their Pastoral Letter sent to Agenzia Fides, which was presented to Pope Francis on March 2nd, on the occasion of their Ad Limina visit.
                "The region of North Africa is geographically and culturally situated at the crossroads of Africa, Europe and the Middle East", the document states.
"The dynamics of the 'Arab Spring', issues of regional security and the Middle East, the European economic crisis and migration from sub-Saharan Africa, involve profound changes and new challenges for our region".
In particular, the so-called "Arab springs" distinctly had different dynamics in the two Countries included in the area of CERNA. "If in the course of a process of national dialogue Tunisia adopted a new Constitution in January 2014, Libya is experiencing a very worrying situation, where there are still tensions and violence due to the profound destabilization of the State", say the Bishops, who however reiterate: "these difficulties do not undermine the hope" originated from the "Arab spring".
                The Bishops also argued that the process of democratization is a long process, "always in the making, in which any attempt to copy or impose existing models would be futile and inappropriate". The document confirms the specificity of the Church in North Africa, engaged in a "dialogue of life" with Muslims that intends to "give a contribution to life and the construction of society, with no political militancy, neither sought nor desired". (Agenzia Fides 02/03/2015)

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