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In Congo priests are missing, and sometimes politicians are behind it

For the second largest country in Africa, Congo, Catholic institutions provide more than half of medical services, 52 percent. Most teaching and education also depends on them.

They work in an area of tension, with ethnic conflicts, poverty, wars, political instability and people who are forced to leave their homes.

Diocese of Mbujimayi (Congo)
“In this situation of violence, the Catholic Church is the only institution from the West, from colonization, that works. Despite its difficulties and failures, in many places, without the Church, there is no future.”

Congolese priest Apollinaire Cibaka Cikongo explained in a meeting with Rome Reports Premium that in 2017 the army occupied the seminary for four months. During that time, the seminarians had to escape. Churches were also looted. 

Diocese of Mbujimayi (Congo)
“There are priests in the Church of the Congo who have been missing for years. We don't know where they are and many times politicians are behind it. They use the media; they call you every day. Aid to the Church in Need helps us stay strong when the Church often receives threats. Many times, you receive messages on your phone that say, 'Tomorrow we will take your blood.'”

Aid to the Church in Need
“Africa has broken a record in recent years. Unfortunately, it has the largest number of priests and religious killed. It is a very sad fact, but it makes the Church a hero. I have the blessing of observing that aspect closely and I have always experienced it.”

This priest denounced that the root of the violence is the greed of large investors who unscrupulously exploit diamond and mineral mines in the West. The Democratic Republic of the Congo is a rich country, dying from hunger.

Despite this, he assures the Church will continue to stand and be close to all those who suffer injustices in Africa.

Daniel Díaz Vizzi

Translation: Melissa Butz