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Vicariate Apostolic of Arabia
Arabia formerly belonged to the mission of Galla (Africa), but was made a separate prefecture Apostolic by Pius IX, 21 Jan., 1875. It was reunited to the mission of Galla, then made a vicariate Apostolic, by Leo XIII, 25 April, 1888, under Monseigneur Lasserre. The Capuchin Fathers under Monseigneur Lasserre had long been in charge of the Aden mission, together with that of Somaliland. The first vicar Apostolic brought to Aden a community of French Franciscan sisters, to whose care the British authorities entrusted 100 Galla children rescued from Arab slave ships. With these liberated captives it was hoped to found a Catholic colony at some distance inland, but circumstances had, as late as 1906, frustrated this and other attempts to carry the Faith into the interior of Arabia. This vicariate Apostolic has 12,000,000 inhabitants, of whom about 15,000 are Catholics; 11 missions, 4 churches or chapels, 6 stations. (For origins of Arabian Christianity, see CHRISTIANITY IN ARABIA, under ARABIA.)
BATTANDIER, Ann. pont. cath., 1906; PIOLET, Miss. cath.