«I leave you my peace, I give you my peace». The document issued by the Plenary Assembly of the Episcopal Conference of Mozambique (Cem) – which took place from 9 to 14 November in Matola – is inspired by this verse of the Gospel of John, to remind us that peace comes from God.
Bishops of Mozambique demanded peace in the face of what is happening in the Cabo Delgado region, where the population is suffering violence by jihadist armed groups.
As Vatican News reports, the document opens precisely by expressing closeness to these brothers, in “constant prayer and hope to find ways of dialogue that facilitate the end of the terrible conflict and the consequent humanitarian crisis”. Humanitarian crisis that has already caused more than two thousand victims and four hundred thousand displaced.
The drama of a situation that began as early as October 2017 is also told by Aid to the Church in Need, which reports the words of Sister Blanca Nubia Zapata, of the Teresian Carmelites of St. Joseph: “It seems they are trying to remove the entire population of the northern part of the province of Cabo Delgado, driving out the common people without any mercy ».
ACS accepted the appeal of Monsignor Luiz Fernándo Lisboa, Bishop of Pemba “to help the diocese of Pemba and neighboring ones with emergency aid for the victims of Cabo Delgado”. “10,000 refugees have already arrived and more are arriving,” said the bishop. “They have no place to sleep, just blankets and makeshift shelters. Some people died on the way. It is a desperate humanitarian situation – continues the prelate – for which we are asking, indeed imploring the help and solidarity of the international community “.
During the plenary assembly, the bishops of Mozambique also met Helena Mateus Kida, Minister of Justice and Constitutional and Religious Affairs, to whom they expressed their desire for collaboration “in various areas of social life, such as civic education and morality of young people, education for peace and reconciliation and the fight against poverty ”.