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article imageNelson Mandela remains in hospital as South Africans pray

By Layne Weiss     Jun 9, 2013 in World
Pretoria - Prayers are being said across South African churches for the country's former President Nelson Mandela. He is back in the hospital with a recurring lung infection.
BBC News reports that no update has been provided on his condition, but yesterday, Mandela was described as being in "serious, but stable" condition.
He had been ill for some days before being taken to a hospital in Pretoria early Saturday morning.
He was hospitalized late last year for a recurring lung infection and then again in March of this year. He spent nine days there. He is now back in the hospital with the same recurring lung infection.
The 94-year-old anti-apartheid leader received visits from family members Sunday, The Associated Press reports. They included the eldest of his three surviving children, Makaziwe Mandela and Ndileka Mandela, one of his 17 grandchildren.
Hundreds of worshippers attended a Sunday church service at Soweto's Regina Mundi church in the Johannesburg town of Soweto. The church is famous for its role in the apartheid campaign.
"I think it's just a natural experience that everyone wants to hold onto him as much as possible," acting priest Father Rossouw Sebastian said according to BBC News.
There is a stained glass image of Mr. Mandela with his arms raised in the church, The AP reports.
"We still need him in our lives because he did so much for us," said Mantsho Moralo, a receptionist who was in the congregation. A student named Siyabonga Nyembe described Mandela as a "pillar of strength" for South Africans.
Archbishop Desmond Tutu has led calls for prayer for a speedy recovery for Nelson Mandela who turns 95 next month.
Meanwhile South African President Jacob Zuma has continued to hold engagements away from the capital, and has said he will visit the former leader if doctors advise him that it is ok to do so, BBC News reports.
Nelson Mandela became South Africa's first black President in 1994. He served in that post until 1999.
British Prime Minister David Cameron tweeted that his thoughts are with Nelson Mandela during this difficult time.
The White House also sent well wishes for a speedy recovery.
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