Honduras is the second largest country in Central America. With the exception of those countries where there are ongoing wars, it has the unenviable distinction of having the second highest number of murders anywhere, second only to its close neighbour, El Salvador. Violence is an ever present reality, with robberies, murders and abductions a daily occurrence. Gang warfare, drug cartels and crime have made it a dangerous country to live in. The social and political inequalities are glaringly apparent, and around 70% of the population currently live below the poverty threshold. Many people, especially the young, dream only of leaving the country.
Although only 37% of the population are Catholics – an extremely low percentage for Latin America – the Catholic Church is one of the few signs of hope in this violence-plagued land, in which many people can see no future for themselves. But at the same time the Church herself faces massive problems, including the fact that within the last 50 years the population has grown from 2.5 to 9 million souls. Hence there is a great need for pastoral care and evangelization, but far too few priests to minister to all the people. Lay catechists pray a vital role here, but there is also a great shortage even of these well-instructed laity.
ACN is helping here by sending 3000 Bibles and 3000 copies of the DOCAT – a handbook of the Social Teaching of the Church aimed specially at young people. For the formation of young people is very important, above all in a country facing so many major social problems, so that they can help contribute to a better and more humane society in the future, where God‘s laws are observed by all. ACN has agreed to help with 23,000 Euros towards the cost of these books.