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Churches are being targeted in Haiti - says missionary sister

by Alex Collett
1013Haiti.jpeg - Banner image
Aid to the Church in Need

Cathedrals, churches and chapels in Haiti are being targeted as the country falls into the power of armed gangs - according to a missionary Sister.

Franciscan Sister Marcela Catozza has told Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need that extreme gang violence has erupted into the streets making life difficult in the capital Port-au-Prince and elsewhere on the island.

Sister Marcela spent 15 years ministering in Haiti, until spiralling violence led to her being recalled to Italy this August for her own safety. 

She said the situation in Haiti has drastically declined since June and: "The Church has become a victim of the violence." 

On the 27th of July The Cathedral of Our Lady of the Assumption in Port-au-Prince was torched after several days of clashes between gang members and the security forces.

Sister Marcela said: "They set fire to the cathedral and tried to kill the firefighters who arrived to put out the flames. Afterwards they tried to destroy the walls of the cathedral with a truck."

The Church has been attacked across the country.

Sister Marcela said: "Around a month ago they set fire to our chapel. Everything was burned - the altar, the pews. There is nothing left. The Blessed Sacrament was saved because I always take it somewhere safe when I leave." 

She added: "For the past year I have been unable to leave to go to Mass in the morning, because the gangs close down the slum and nobody is allowed in or out. 

"This is very difficult for me, very difficult." 

Sister Marcela concluded by Christians to pray for the country: "Please pray for Haiti. Let us ask the Lord to watch over all the Haitians, and to give peace to his people."

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