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ICC Note:

Christians in Chad are fearlessly celebrating the birth of their Savior in the capital city of Ndjamena. Large crowds of Christians gathered and broke into triumphant shouts, songs, and dance to remember Christ’s birth. Several pastors acknowledge that such joy and celebration will minister to Muslims in ways that sermons could not.

12/23/2016 Chad (Herald Malaysia Online) The parish church in Ndjamena’s Kabalaye district, built and run by Jesuits from the Italian region of Lombardy (whose guest I was), is an imposing building in the style of an amphitheater, with an oval dome with bold metal ribbing, walls of reinforced concrete, and a roof in plastic sheets. On Christmas Eve 1976, the vast courtyard and the church gradually filled with worshipers, some from faraway villages. Well before Midnight Mass, the church was full to capacity, and hundreds of faithful stood in the courtyard.

The joy of the celebration and coming together exploded. Christians, after a year of isolation, toil, and misery, broke out into song, dance, drums, balafons, and pipes. Inside the Kabalaye church it was like a stormy sea. People sang all together, many danced, trying to make as much noise as they could, clapping their hands and stomping their feet rhythmically to accompany the choir, whose songs are our oldest carols translated into local languages. The joy was overflowing and contagious, the dust was acrid and thick; this was the stench, the “scent” of a poor humanity, the rhythm of drums and rousing balafons.Speaking to the Star, Coast Regional Coordinator Nelson Marwa has assured foreign tourists and Kenyans traveling to the Coast for the festive season to be comfortable as security had been beefed up.

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