A lack of courageous leadership has hampered the peace process, one woman said. "How many courageous hearts do we have in the world? Francis is a courageous heart."
Religious leaders, including a Catholic archbishop, called for prayers for peace while urging government and rebel forces in South Sudan to lay down their arms and allow a tenuous cease-fire to take effect.
Fighting between forces loyal to South Sudan President Salva Kiir and rebel leader Riek Machar, Kiir's former vice president, flared Monday, two days after the parties agreed to the cease-fire.
The Vatican is investigating Fr. Michael Amaladoss for allegedly espousing unorthodox beliefs, raising questions about whether Pope Francis is moving the church in a new direction.
"We are alive and there is hope, a chance for a new beginning," just like the early followers of Jesus after his death.
The heads of Christian churches in the region plan to launch an international awareness campaign following a series of anti-Christian vandalism.
The Vatican issued an urgent appeal for the release of more than 200 Nigerian schoolgirls kidnapped by the Islamist militant group Boko Haram.
The Catholic bishops' conference of Cameroon has demanded the release of two Italian priests and a Canadian nun, a month after they were kidnapped by suspected Nigerian Islamists.
The bishops of Cameroon "strongly condemn these inadmissible attacks from extremist groups on church officials and all acts of violence which pose a threat to the dignity of the human person," the bishops said in a statement Monday signed by the conference president, Archbishop Samuel Kleda of Douala.
Preview: Religious women walk among the 3.3 million people who live in Nairobi. Here are some stories of their faith, their grit.
Commentary: The right to protest is not the right to violently oust a democratic government, a distinction that policymakers in Washington don't always seem to grasp.
Malta's bishops were "surprised" but reassured by the findings of the survey of Catholics they conducted for the Synod of Bishops on the family.