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At the rail station in Owendo, on the outskirts of Libreville, it is not a priest but laymen and women who take turns on stage to sing the Lord's praises to a devoted audience.Outside the two prayer tents at Libreville station, two "mamas" are there to welcome newcomers.Around two thirds of them are Catholics.Closer to home, in Gabon's neighbor Cameroon, the government last year ordered the closure of around 100 Pentecostal, or Evangelical, churches accused of extorting funds from their members.While loyal to the pope, the Charismatic Renewal movement – named after the Greek word for gifts, "charismata" – allows for prayer sessions outside of Mass, which can involve faith healings and speaking in tongues.Pope Francis himself, back in the days when he was a cardinal, would celebrate Mass on a monthly basis for the Charismatic Renewal of Buenos Aires.The Renewal first appeared in Gabon three decades ago and is now present in every parish of the capital.Brigitte joined the movement 15 years ago.
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