Redemptorist Solidarity Office for Africa and Madagascar joins the campaign to end the death penalty in African countries. Fr. Gerry O’Connor C.Ss.R. speaks out:
We wish to join with Christians and people from all of the backgrounds across a world today on the day of the campaign of a fight against the death penalty. As the Redemptorists in Africa and Madagascar, we work in the number of countries: in Angola, in Ivory Coast, Madagascar, Mozambique, and South Africa thankfully the death penalty has been removed. In Burkina Faso, it remains but for war crimes. But the death penalty is still practiced in the Democratic Republic of Congo, in Ghana, Kenia, Niger, Nigeria, and Zimbabwe. And these are countries where the Redemptorists work. So I will urge Redemptorists, and our friends and Christians from all those countries to come together and to campaign with others to have a death penalty removed from the statute books of those countries. I am joined with Pope Francis and I am influenced and inspired by his words that the death penalty contradicts God’s merciful justice. So let us work together to bring down the death penalty in the country after country so that human dignity may flourish.
World Day Against the Death Penalty (October 10) is a day to advocate for the abolition of the death penalty and to raise awareness of the conditions and the circumstances which affect prisoners with death sentences. The day was first organized by the World Coalition Against the Death Penalty in 2003.
Fr. Gerry O’Connor C.S.sR is the procurator in the Redemptorist Solidarity Office for Africa and Madagascar.