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Stories with person: Francis Arinze
  • In Africa, Pope Francis to find a church growing in numbers story has photos
    Updated: Nov-23-15 6:19 am

    JOHANNESBURG - Pope Paul VI became the first modern pope to visit Africa in 1969 and declared the continent a "new homeland" for Jesus Christ. During the quarter century of his papacy, St. John Paul II traveled to 42 African countries and earned the nickname "the African." Pope Benedict XVI said Africa was a continent of hope. Next week, Pope Francis joins his predecessors and visits a region whose growing numbers of Catholics are seen as a bulwark for a church seeking to broaden its appeal in the face of challenges from secularism, competing Christian faiths and violent extremism.