Facebook blocked access to more than 20 Catholic pages on July 18, without any explanation.
By July 19, the Catholic pages were all apparently restored, but Facebook had still not offered any explanation.
Most of the pages that were blocked were based in Brazil. Several English-language sites were also blocked, however. One Brazilian Catholic administrator was told that Facebook had identified “suspicious” activity on his page, but again no further explanation was given.
One popular American page involved in the temporary shutdown was the “Father Rocky” page, managed by Father Francis “Rocky” Hoffman, the executive director of Relevant Radio, which has nearly 4 million Facebook followers. Like other administrators affected, Father Hoffman said that he had received no explanation for being blocked. Relevant Radio issued a statement saying that the sudden action by Facebook was a “wake-up call.”
The Catholic population of Bosnia and Herzegovina has fallen to 400,000—down from over 740,000 before the Bosnian War (1992-95).
“This decline is mainly due to young people emigrating to find better job opportunities,” said Bishop Tomo Vuksic, the nation’s military ordinary.
The prelate told an Italian news agency that Catholics face significant economic discrimination in the Balkan nation of 3.9 million, which is 40% Muslim and 31% Orthodox.
More than 2,000 Muslims have sought refuge in the Catholic cathedral in Bangassou, in the Central African Republic, to escape sectarian violence.
The Muslim refugees have fled from attacks by the anti-Balaka militia group. An estimated 100,000 people have been driven from their homes in the conflict that has plagued the Central African Republic for several years. The anti-Balaka forces—composed primarily of Christians, but repudiated by Church leaders—have been condemned for multiple human-rights violations.