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Pope Francis leaves out Nigeria in maiden visit to Africa

By The Rainbow
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The three countries have significant Catholic communities and have been troubled by civil conflicts, which will increase concerns about the pope’s security during the visits. File photo

Image by: TONY GENTILE / REUTERS
 Pope Francis will visit Africa for the first time in November, visiting Kenya, Uganda and the Central African Republic, the Vatican said Thursday.

Surprisingly, the pontiff will not visiting Nigeria with its close to 20 million Catholic adherents in this maiden visit. Pope John Paul II visited Nigeria twice during papacy.

Pope Francis will visit Kenya from November 25 to 27, spend the next two days in Uganda, and travel on to the Central African Republic, where the trip will wind up on November 30.

The three countries have significant Catholic communities and have been troubled by civil conflicts, which will increase concerns about the pope’s security during the visits.

In Uganda, Francis will commemorate the canonisation by Pope Paul VI in 1964 of the first African saints – 22 young people killed in 1878 on the orders of the local ruler because they refused to renounce Christianity.

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