“We are living here in a time of war that has already lasted three years. It began with an attack on the police station, then on the distant villages, passing through the larger villages until it reached the centre of the cities. Four cities have already been almost completely emptied. By now, this war has killed more than 2,000 people and we now have more than 500,000 displaced people.” This is how Bishop Luiz Fernando Lisboa’s interview with ACN begins. The Brazilian cleric is Bishop of the Diocese of Pemba, in Cabo Delgado in the north of Mozambique, where there are continued attacks by a terrorist group.
Minutes before the interview, Bishop Luiz received more sad news from Nangololo, where the Mission of the Sacred Heart of Jesus used to be: “The second most important mission of the Diocese has been totally destroyed, the church, the priests’ house, the sisters’ house, the community radio, the outpatient clinic – totally devastated. The people had already fled the mission through the woods, to other cities and here to Pemba. We help many people, so that they can go to safer places.”
Helping others has become Bishop Luiz Fernando’s priority in recent years: “Over half a million displaced people need everything! They need food, clothes, medicine, pots, they need attention, a place to live, everything. It is a war that has brought much suffering to all of us.”
The Bishop’s greatest concern is that “this terrorism has made our people suffer; it has delayed the dreams of many people. Every year we already suffer from hunger at a certain time of the year. For three years now, many people have not been producing. Therefore, the hunger will be even greater. War has only losers, but those who suffer most are the poorest.”
To help those who suffer most ACN has mobilised to help the victims of this conflict in Cabo Delgado. Since the attacks began in 2017, ACN gave a voice to the people there. ACN is also providing concrete help through various emergency aid projects.
“What the Mozambican people want most is peace. Mozambique has already faced two wars and here in Cabo Delgado we are facing the third. The people are tired, they are suffering a lot from this war. The people of Cabo Delgado, of Mozambique, long for peace.
To the benefactors of ACN, Bishop Luiz sends his message of gratitude for all the collaboration: “From the bottom of my heart I thank all the benefactors of ACN.
Here in the Diocese of Pemba, even before the war, before Cyclone Kenneth, we have been helped by ACN. They have already helped us in supporting the formation of seminarians, in supporting the spirituality and formation of priests and sisters, they have already helped us with cars for our missionaries. At this time of emergency, because of the war, they have already approved emergency aid projects. Thus, my many thanks. May God deeply bless each person who collaborates with this truly missionary work. Thank you very much, may God bless you.”