PRESENTATION OF THE CHURCHES IN THE DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO (DRC) IN THE CONTEXT OF COVID-19
The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is a country in central Africa. It is the fourth most populous country in Africa (behind Nigeria, Ethiopia and Egypt) as well as the most populous French-speaking country in the world.
The DRC is the second largest country in Africa after Algeria. It extends from the Atlantic Ocean to the eastern plateau and covers most of the Congo River basin. The north of the country is one of the largest equatorial forests in the world; the East borders the great East African rift, an area of mountains, hills, great lakes but also volcanoes. The south and the center are woodlands and savannahs, forming a high plateau rich in minerals. The Atlantic coast is in the far west, some 40 kilometers north of the mouth of the Congo River.
The country shares its borders with the enclave of Cabinda (Angola) (southwest), the Republic of Congo (west), the Central African Republic (north), South Sudan (northeast), Uganda (east-northeast), Rwanda and Burundi (east), Tanzania to the east-southeast, Zambia (southeast) and Angola (southwest). The DRC has been a member of the International Organization of La Francophonie since 1977.
Testimony in North Kivu
The present presentation only concerns the eastern part of the Republic, notably North Kivu which is a province where the law of firearms prevails.
North Kivu is situated in the eastern part of the country. It borders 4 DRC provinces, a Ugandan region and Rwanda. The province is divided into three cities (Goma, capital of the province, Beni and Butembo) and six territories (BENI, LUBERO, RUCHURU, NYIRAGONGO, MASISI AND WALIKALE).
The country is unstable and, after two civil wars, it has seen several militias since 2016. In addition, diseases, serious pandemics such as Ebola, malaria, COVID-19 ravage the country.
Following the outbreak of COVID-19, the Head of State decreed a state of health emergency since 24 March 2020 and imposed several restrictions on the Congolese population, prohibiting meetings of more than 20 people. The denominations are unable to meet until today. The province of North Kivu has some 137 cases of Covid-19 (as of 6 July 2020), and new cases are recorded daily.
Fortunately, by the grace of God, the lampstands continue to shine in the following localities:
• Oicha (in the BENI territory);
• Goma (one of the cities of the province);
• Kashenda (in Masisi territory); and
• Kyeshero (Beyond Kashenda, on the mountains overlooking Kashenda in Masisi territory).
Table Showing Church Life in These Localities
|No.||Locality||No. of saints||Church Life||When church life began||Observations|
|1||Oicha||15||Meeting daily, in small groups of 5-10 persons||Feb 2014||Meetings are not hindered by the state of health emergency.|
|2||Goma||40||In small groups of around 10 persons||2008||Meetings are held in homes. The Lord has just blessed us with two new families and two young people.|
|3||Kashenda||80||In small groups of 10-15 persons||2008||Saints in Goma and Kashenda began to meet long before 2008. It was in 2008 that they met with brothers from Kampala.|
|4||Kyeshero||60||(Scattered)||2008||Beyond Kyeshero, some brothers gather according to the Word of God, but they are scattered. The localities include: KALUNGU, GOKWE, NYAMIRE, LUIZI, NANGA, NYAMATOVU, KIRUNDU, SUNZU, MUOTE, ...|
The lack of security has negatively affected the church life, specifically in Beni where some saints had to flee to places where they cannot continue to meet. In Beni city, only 2 saints are left; in Oicha 15 saints; in Butembo 2 saints; 3 saints have just settled in Idou in Ituri (a neighboring province) and are practicing the church life. 10 brothers are meeting in the city of Bukavu, in another neighboring province south of North Kivu. We believe that in these localities the Lord has sowed Himself and His life will grow, thus we will be able to continue to rejoice in His presence.
OH LORD JESUS!
From the saints in DRC