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The amazing devotion of African refugees

In the National Catholic Register, Victor Gaetan spoke to Fr Linus Dragu, a priest with a ministry to migrants in Italy. In the last three years Fr Dragu has baptised more then 1,000 refugees from Africa – Nigeria, Benin, Ghana, Niger, Kenya, Mali, Chad and Gambia.

Fr Dragu describes himself as “a missionary in Italy”, and says he has never done anything so rewarding as a priest – partly because he has “never seen the intensity of prayer, of devotion, of reverence, as I have from my African children.”

Gaetan spoke to some of those “children”, like Charles Gyamfi, 34, a Ghana-born migrant who, after escaping Libya, survived the perilous journey to Lampedusa in 2011. Gyamfi said that when he got to Italy, he “knew I had to change my life, and prayed to God that he forgive me for the sins I made in Libya”.

In the chaos of the country’s breakdown a few years ago, there were many moral dilemmas, he said.

Another refugee from Libya, Promise, aged 32, said: “God will repay Fr Linus. He lives to help us. He is fulfilling the Word of God.”

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