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Thursday, March 30, 2017
Angola: funeral of murdered missionary
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 On Friday morning, at the mission church in Bailundo, 60 km north of Huambo, Angola, local Catholics and missionaries attended the funeral of Fr José Afonso Moreira, the 80-year old-Portuguese Spiritan missionary shot dead on 9 February in his home. The funeral was presided over by Archbishop José de Querisós Alvers, Archbishop of Huambo. A number of Spiritan missionaries were flown in for the occasion from the capital Luanda to Bailundo by a military aircraft made available by the authorities. Bailundo is in a very isolated area with very few roads and is difficult to reach by car. Fr Moreira was shot seven times at close range in the face, said local Church sources. "The missionary had just gone to bed when about 15 armed men broke into his room and shot him dead without even giving him time to get out of bed." Police think the motive was robbery rather than a political reason because the house had been completely ransacked. "Fr Moreira was loved by all for his witness of service and love for mission even in times of difficulty" he said. "For forty years he served in Bailundo during the long years of civil war 1975-2002. Bailundo was occupied by the UNITA rebel forces (National Union for Total Independence of Angola) and then by the regular army. Nevertheless Fr Moreira remained neutral, refusing any comprise so he could continue to announce the Gospel and serve others in the freedom of the children of God." Source: Fides
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