OXFORD, England -- Catholic leaders in Congo have gathered more than 1.5 million signatures on a petition that demands local elections to curb corruption and strengthen democracy.

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LIMA, Peru – Catholic Church leaders in Venezuela say a peaceful transfer of power from embattled President Nicolas Maduro to a transitional government, probably led by National Assembly president Juan Guaido, is the best hope for the crisis-wracked country.
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OTTAWA – The run-up to a general election in Nigeria has triggered concerns about growing violence and an increase in Christian persecution, said the national director of Nigeria’s Pontifical Mission Society.

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ROME – Although it has publicly taken a neutral stance in the current political crisis in Venezuela, the Vatican has expressed its support for new elections in the country within the year, said a member of a delegation representing opposition leader Juan Guaido.
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LAGOS, Nigeria – Nigeria's Catholic bishops called on voters to prepare to cast their ballots in upcoming elections by reflecting, fasting and praying on how best the country's future can be served.
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KINSHASA, Congo – Some Catholic bishops from Congo have endorsed the disputed election of Felix Tshisekedi as president, despite continuing criticisms from other church leaders.
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Who really won the election in Congo matters immensely to the Congolese people, but it also matters to Canada’s Catholic development agency, which spent the last three years helping ordinary Congolese get ready to vote.

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CARACAS, Venezuela – The Venezuelan bishops' conference has labeled the new government of Nicolas Maduro "illegitimate" and called for a "change in government."
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KINSHASA – Catholic church leaders in Congo have questioned the official outcome of the Dec. 30 elections, saying the officially published results "do not correspond with the data collected" by the church's 40,000 observers.
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CAPE TOWN, South Africa – The church in Zimbabwe said it is prepared to mediate between government and opposition leaders after six people were killed in violence that followed a disputed presidential election.
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FREETOWN, Sierra Leone – Catholic bishops in Sierra Leone called on citizens to refrain from actions to destabilize the West African nation and to come together before next year's elections in the same spirit that helped end the country's civil war and overcome its Ebola epidemic.

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KINSHASA, Congo – Catholic bishops in Congo accused their government of suppressing civil liberties and demanded free elections envisaged under a church-brokered New Year accord.

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NAIROBI, Kenya – Kenyan Catholic bishops said they fear widespread violence in the next general elections.

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WASHINGTON – Is there a Catholic vote? Well, yes. Kind of.

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MEXICO CITY – Mexicans turned out in droves to oust the ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party in June 5 regional elections. Exit polls showed voters citing crime and corruption for removing the party of increasingly unpopular President Enrique Pena Nieto in seven of the 12 states holding gubernatorial elections.

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