A church devastated by fire in Aden, Yemen

Posted on Sep 20, 2015

Of the 22 churches that operated in Aden when the city was a British colony before 1967, only a few remain open, used rarely by foreign workers and African refugees. (Photo: AlRiyadh.com)

Of the 22 churches that operated in Aden when the city was a British colony before 1967, only a few remain open, used rarely by foreign workers and African refugees. (Photo: AlRiyadh.com)

(Agenzia Fides) Aden, September 17, 2015 – The Church of the Holy Family [most sources: Church of St. Joseph, built in 1855] in Aden was looted and set on fire by unidentified armed men, but according to observers could belong to al Qaeda, rooted in the region. The port city, in the south of the Country, had been recaptured months ago by forces loyal to President Abdel Rabbo Mansour Hadi, in conflict with Houthi rebels. The other day Prime Minister Khaled Bahah had gone back to Aden with a delegation of seven members of the government in exile. Last May 11, always in Aden, the bombings carried out by the air forces of Saudi Arabia had hit the Church of the Immaculate Conception. The church had been occupied by the Houthi rebels in early May.

Before the conflict, the pastoral care of the small Catholic community was carried out by four Indian priests. In the last decades, an eloquent sign of Christian presence in Yemen was represented by the Sisters of Mother Teresa, who in four different cities began charity work in favor of the elderly, disabled and sick. (GV)