Regional Episcopal Conference of West Africa
Some 150 West African bishops, archbishops and cardinals currently gathered for a week at the 3rd General Assembly of the Regional Episcopal Conference of West Africa in Ouagadougou. Burkina Faso’s President Christian Roch Kaboré spoke at the opening ceremony on 13 May and called upon all citizens to stay united regardless of religion or ethnicity. “Terrorists have reorganised their operation methods, seeking first to create inter-communal conflict, and now an inter-religious conflict. Christians have been killed for practicing their religion by people who have no morals or ethics,” deplored the President Kaboré. Burkina Faso is known for the peaceful co-existence of its Muslim and Christian communities. However, a deadly terrorist attack on a church in Dabo, in the north of the country, killed 6 people just one day before the opening of the conference. The conference was held under the theme “The new evangelisation and comprehensive human development in the Church, family of God, in West Africa” and aimed to address questions related to the future of African youth. Founded in 2012 in Yamassoukro, Côte d’Ivoire, the conference brings together Catholic leaders from 16 West African countries.