Sierra Leone Struggles After Civil War

Nearly eight years after a brutal civil war in Sierra Leone, many people who fled the country have returned, although they struggle to survive amid a shattered economy, Archbishop Edward Tamba Charles of Freetown and Bo said. In an interview on Sept. 21, the archbishop described a country that is still recovering from a war that left tens of thousands of people dead and displaced hundreds of thousands more. Among the surprising results of the war’s end is the growth of the Catholic Church, in part because of the conversions of people who relied upon the church for assistance during the war. “The church stood by them,” Archbishop Charles said, “and the experience of war brought some people to their faith.” Although Catholics make up only about 8 percent of the population in Sierra Leone, rebels considered the church a threat during the 11-year civil war. Priests and religious were expelled from the country, and church property was looted and vandalized.

Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.

Advertisement
Advertisement

The latest from america

Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick, retired archbishop of Washington, is pictured in a 2017 photo (CNS photo/Bob Roller) 
The case shows the mystifying complexity of the human person—or at least this human person.
James Martin, S.J.July 16, 2018
A front-page article published July 16 detailed the alleged abuse of two seminarians in the Diocese of Metuchen, New Jersey, by then-Bishop Theodore E. McCarrick.
Elsie Fisher (photo: A24)
Bo Burnham’s new movie is a joyous reminder that 13 is not, in fact, the best year of your life.
John AndersonJuly 16, 2018
A couple gets married in Stockholm, Sweden, in this 2013 file photo. (CNS photo/Fredrik Sandberg, EPA) 
“The right of Catholics to express disagreement with their leaders is a right as old as Peter and Paul.”
The EditorsJuly 16, 2018