Algeria: monks announce plans to reopen monastery

 Trappist monks are planning to reopen an Algerian monastery where seven of their brothers were killed by Muslim terrorists in 1996. Four monks from Algeria, France, Spain and Poland stayed in Algiers to learn Arabic and French two years after the killings in a desire to reopen the monastery. Cardinal Philippe Barbarin, Archbishop of Lyon, told journalists that the monks want to return to the Monastery of Our Lady of Atlas, about 100 kilometers south of Algiers. The Cardinal requested prayers for the planned return of the Trappists, since previous attempts had failed. Cardinal Barbarin was speaking after returning from an inter-religious pilgrimage to Algeria with Azzedine Gaci, the president of the Rhone-Alps Muslim Council. The pilgrimage included a stop at the now abandoned monastery where both men led prayers and called for dialogue. Algeria is a Sunni Muslim state where Christians and Jews account for only 1% of the country's 32 million people. There are about 23,250 Catholics in Algeria, 136 priests and 210 women religious. Source: CISA