Angola is a former colony of Portugal, and remains one of the most Catholic countries in Africa. Over 55% of the population professes the Catholic faith. All the same, for the 7 million Catholics in the poor African nation there are just 443 diocesan priests -- approximately one priest for 15,800 Catholics.
Following its independence from the colonial power. Angola was wracked by a 27 year civil war nearly continuously from 1975 until 2002. The strife between Angolans wrestling for dominance, with foreign intervention. claimed numerous lives, plunged millions into poverty and misery. Many churches and church properties were destroyed.
In addition, the civil wars left also tens of thousands of children orphans. They are defenseless children who are subjected to all forms of violence, sexual abuse, drugs, theft and physical exploitation. Many of these were child soldiers, encouraged to kill.
The Catholic Church in Angola seeks to establish the basis to respond to the many needs in Angola. One example is the "Casa Margarida" in the capital Luanda. Administered by a Spanish priest, Fr Julio Barrientos, it is home to fifty street children. At the center, the children are offered courses in literacy, primary education as well as electronics, refrigeration and computing. Fr Julio stated, "There will always be a street, there will always be a child. And that child will ask us with his gaze, 'What have you done to get me out from here?'. And so I will walk always the streets..."
Aid to the Church in Need is a charitable organization of the Catholic Church that operates in countries around the world where the need is greatest. Projects range from the rebuilding of churches and schools destroyed by anti-Christian fanatics, to the provision of basic necessities such as food and water. To see more go to WhereGodWeeps.org