Congo: Militia Invaded Church on Easter Sunday

A group of militiamen stormed a church and threatened the faithful in Congo last Easter Sunday.

Newsroom (22/04/2022 10:00 AM, Gaudium PressThe Bishop of the Butembo-Beni Diocese in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Bishop Melchisedec Sikuli Paluku, has condemned the invasion of a parish in the diocese on Easter Sunday.

Last Sunday, April 17, an armed group of Mai-Mai militiamen stormed the church of Our Lady of the Angels in Bunyuka after Easter Mass.

The militiamen disturbed the atmosphere and reportedly demanded the priest’s cassock and missal to “preach the Word of God” to the faithful, eyewitnesses said.

Bishop Sikuli Paluku condemned the militiamen’s attitude and said that the group did not go to the church by chance, but that they planned the invasion for Easter: “the most sacred day, the most fundamental of our Christian faith,” explained the Bishop.

After the invasion, the DRC armed forces quickly mobilized, and after an exchange of fire, which caused the death of one of the militiamen, the aggressors fled.

Bishop Paluku urged the authorities who must investigate the raid to also investigate the kidnapping of two priests from the same parish in 2017.

On July 16, 2017, Father Charles Kipasa and Father Jean-Pierre Akilimali were kidnapped and are still missing.

Bishop Mgr. Paluku invited the invaders to conversion and asked the faithful to continue to pray for the diocese and the country. (FM)

Compiled by Camille Mittermeier

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