National Catholic Reporter

The Independent News Source

Sierra Leone

Vatican to send $3.5 million to help church response to Ebola

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The Vatican is helping Catholic dioceses and agencies step up the fight against Ebola and is urging other donors to help.

The Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace announced Wednesday that the Holy See would be making a "financial contribution" to support church-sponsored assistance to those affected by the Ebola outbreak. Vatican Radio reported the sum would be $3.5 million.

Sierra Leone bans Christmas, New Year's celebrations to prevent spread of Ebola

The government of Sierra Leone banned public Christmas and New Year's celebrations because they may exacerbate efforts to eradicate the Ebola virus.

President Ernest Bai Koroma said that despite immense help from the international community, the number of people infected with the virus continues to rise.

Ebola infections in Sierra Leone recently surpassed those of Liberia and Guinea.

Is updated Band Aid charity song demeaning to Africans?

Some church leaders are criticizing a British musicians' charity group raising funds for the West African Ebola crisis, saying its new single reinforces negative stereotypes of Africa.

Band Aid, which was started 30 years ago by Bob Geldof, has re-recorded the charity title, "Do They Know It's Christmas?"

The song was first recorded in 1984 to raise money to help victims of the Ethiopia famine.

CRS manages 'safe and dignified' burials of Sierra Leone Ebola victims

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Burials that are dignified and safe are urgently needed for Ebola victims in West Africa, where corpses are frequently left unattended for days and then thrown into graves without ceremony, a U.S. church aid official said.

"So many people are dying that there has not been the capacity to respond" to burial needs in an appropriate way and "we are now making this a priority," Michael Stulman, regional information officer for the U.S. bishops' Catholic Relief Services, said in a telephone interview from Freetown, Sierra Leone.

Ebola outbreak: How you can help

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There have been 8,033 confirmed or suspected cases of Ebola and more than 3,879 deaths attributed to the current outbreak in West Africa, the World Health Organization reports.

The first man to be diagnosed with Ebola in the USA died Wednesday.

Aid workers are providing everything from medical care to protective gear to education as the Ebola virus continues to spread.

How can you help?

How superstition may thwart Ebola's eradication in Guinea

Church leaders in West Africa are raising concerns over sporadic violence that has killed one of their own and frustrated efforts to stem the Ebola epidemic.

The violence took a dangerous turn last week in a remote village in southeast Guinea, when fearful villagers killed eight members of a disinfection and awareness team, including an evangelical church pastor.

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In This Issue

March 27-April 9, 2015

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