Holy See and Botswana Establish Relations

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VATICAN CITY, NOV. 4, 2008 (Zenit.org).- The Holy See and Botswana have established diplomatic relations, bringing the number of nations with which the Holy See has relations to 173.

The official establishment ceremony took place today in the pontifical representation of Pretoria, South Africa.

Botswana, between South Africa, Zimbabwe and Namibia, is one of Africa's richest and most stable nations, though it has a high rate of HIV/AIDS infection and death.

The nation's some 1.5 million inhabitants are about 70% Christian, though there are only around 84,000 Catholics, organized in two dioceses. They are served by 67 priests in 38 parishes, 121 religious and some 300 catechists.