European administrators in the African colonies readily admit that Catholic natives arc the best rampart against Communism, which has become a great danger among negro workers, stated a speaker on the Vatican Radio recently, who went on to say that the Catholic Church has accomplished a great deal in the solution of the African social crisis. It has trained natives to work and given them an economic standing.
Pointing to the example of the famous mission centre of Marianhile which has worked for the cultural and economic development of the Kaffirs, the speaker mentioned that " it possesses the best South African negro schools and splendid agricultural, industrial, handicraft, and social institutions, its economic and ethical principles being recognised officially as a model for government activity in similar spheres."
In the work of improving the people's health, mission hospitals and maternity homes had been the means of reducing infant mortality, which amounted in 1926 in East Africa to far above 50 per cent. of births, to 15 per cent. in the course of ten years, while the influence of missionaries had caused a great decrease in human sacrifice, poisoning and immorality. The natural conception of death had replaced that of witchcraft as the cause of death, which, in its turn. had to be avenged by violence.
SEVEN AND A HALF MILLION CATHOLICS IN AFRICA Statistics on the rapid development of Catholic missions in Africa are given by the same speaker, who says: " Taking as an instance the Cameroons, French Equatorial Africa, the Belgian Congo and Uganda, in 1927 there were in this huge territory 1,063,000 Catholics, while ten years later the number was 3.909,000. The Cameroons alone had in 1914, 28.000, and in 1939 as many as 369,000 Catholics.
" The two dioceses of the White Fathers. Ruanda and Urandi (Belgian Mandate), had in 1920, 32,000; in 1938, 616,000 Catholics, with more than 300,000 prospective conconverts."
bared 7,549,000. There were then .51,000 schools with two and a half million pupils, 368 hospitals, 5,000 European priests, and 500 native."