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DRC: Church bomb attack kills 17

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Pray for those affected by a recent attack on a church in Democratic Republic of Congo.

Believers were gathered for a Sunday service on 15 January in Kasindi-Lubirigha, North Kivu province, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). During the service, an explosive device was detonated – at least 17 people were killed, and around 20 others were seriously injured.

So-called Islamic State (IS) have claimed responsibility for the bomb attack, according to a report from Reuters, and the military have reported that a Kenyan national has been arrested in connection with the attack. In the aftermath of the attack, Congolese military spokesperson Antony Mualushayi blamed the Allied Democratic Forces (also known as ADF; this rebel group is affiliated with IS).

“Despite the security measures put in place, the first indications show that it is the ADF which is behind this bomb attack,” said Mualushayi. “It is clear that this is a terrorist act perpetrated by the ADF terrorists who have suffered casualties in several battlefields by the armed forces of the Democratic Republic of Congo.”

The ADF, which first began as rebel group in Uganda, has been based in the DRC since the late 1990s. The group pledged allegiance to IS in mid-2019. The ADF is suspected of widespread attack on villages in north-eastern DRC, targeting Christian villages, clinics and pastors. Many areas have been emptied of Christians as a result.

Dorcas Moussi (name changed), an Open Doors spokesperson for Central Africa said: “It is horrendous that people who had gathered to worship the Lord were targeted in this way, though sadly, not surprising. For years now the jihadist violence against the mostly Christian population in North Kivu and its surrounding areas in DRC’s east have been on the rise, killing thousands and leaving hundreds of thousands trapped in cycles of displacement.

“We call on the government to do all in its power to protect people’s freedom to gather and to worship and to ensure that the affected receive relief and rehabilitation. We call on the international community to do all in its power to offer all appropriate support to the government to ensure that there is no repeat of such incidents. We also call on the global church to pray for God’s comfort to the bereaved and His provision to His Church in these circumstances.”

PRAY NOW...
1

For God’s loving care and healing on all those mourning their loved ones, and those who are scared about future attacks

3

For church leaders to have wisdom in serving their communities and congregations

2

That the tide of violence in sub-Saharan Africa would be halted and reversed, and for peace to come to the region

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