Aleteia logoAleteia logoAleteia
Saturday 02 December |
Saint of the Day: St. Bibiana
Aleteia logo
Art & Culture
separateurCreated with Sketch.

Watch African Catholics worship from boats in flooded church


TikTok | Claude3933 | Fair Use

J-P Mauro - published on 07/23/22

The faith of this community is so strong that they would not let a little flood come between them and the Lord.

A video is being shared on social media that shows the determination of a Catholic African community to attend Mass no matter what the obstacle. In it, a small congregation can be seen sitting in boats within a flooded church as the celebrant leads them in worship.

The short clip originated on TikTok, posted under the account Claude3933, and has since made its way to Twitter, where it was shared by Catholic journalist Sachin Jose. Jose posted it with the caption: “Amazing faith of Catholics in Africa! A Catholic priest celebrates Mass with the faithful in a church that is flooded with water.”

Boats and pews

It was not immediately clear where the footage originated, but it is being hailed as a beautiful expression of faith. This community of Catholics was so determined to worship together that they gathered despite their church being in disarray

At first we thought that the water was so high that it covered the pews, but about mid-way through the video, the pews can be seen stacked off to the side. The boats were arranged in the nave, which simulates the pews well. We do, however, wonder if the priest walked out to distribute the Holy Eucharist, or if the boats were rowed over to the altar in a line. 

Christians in Africa

Faith Tap points out that the Church in Africa is experiencing a period of great growth in recent years. They cite data from the Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, which placed the number of Christians in Africa at 685 million, in 2021. Estimates suggest that this number could rise to around 761 million by 2025.

Despite this growth, Africa remains a volatile region in which Christians face persecution on multiple fronts. In some areas, priests and Christians are regularly abducted and murdered or held for ransom. These occurrences often take place in the middle of worship services. These instances are often coupled with attacks on the community, which can turn deadly in a heartbeat. 

On June 5, a Nigerian Church was invaded by a militant group that proceeded to massacre the congregation. Aleteia previously reported that the attack claimed the lives of 41 Catholics, while injuring dozens more. 

Support Aleteia!

Enjoying your time on Aleteia?

Articles like these are sponsored free for every Catholic through the support of generous readers just like you.

Thanks to their partnership in our mission, we reach more than 20 million unique users per month!

Help us continue to bring the Gospel to people everywhere through uplifting and transformative Catholic news, stories, spirituality, and more.

Support Aleteia with a gift today!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...

Entrust your prayer intentions to our network of monasteries

Top 10
See More
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.