MISSIONARIES are hopeful for the Church's future in Nyasaland, now to become a wholly independent nation on July 6 under its former name of Malawi. Relations with the Premier, Dr. Banda, are very good. and the hierarchy has consistently backed right-minded nationalist aspirations.
There has been no outbreak of anti-white or inter-tribal violence over the past live years. No one foresees a repetition of the events Of 1959. Dr. Banda has pledged himself to ensure that Malawi will in no sense become another Congo.
Dr. Banda has publicly praised the work of the missionaries, and mission schools have been aided by his government.
He insists on Church-State separation and on State control of education, but Archbishop Theunissen of Blantyre has stated that the Church will co-operate loyally with the government. particularly in the educational field, and that there is no question of a clash.
Nyasaland has a population of 2.900.000. of whom less than 10,000 are Europeans. There are 500,000 Protestants, 200,000 Moslems, 1.000.000 Pagans. and 558,000 Catholics. The Catholic population has nearly doubled ie a decade. and there are 100.000 catechumens now under instruction.
The Church is governed through an archdiocese and four dioceses, one of which is headed by a bishop who is a native of Nyasaland. There are more than 200 missionary priests working in the country, and so far 60 African priests have been ordained.
Catholic growth derives from the training of large numbers of catechists, the Church's many works of charity. especially hospitals, and her educational effort • Thrre are 139.107 pupils in Catholic schools today.