Voice of the Martyrs, November 9th, 2023
On Sunday, Jan. 15, 2023, hundreds of Christians gathered at a church in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) to end a weeklong series of prayer meetings. The gathering was so large that chairs and tarps were placed outside to provide overflow seating. Those in attendance did not know that radical Islamic group ADF (Allied Democratic Forces) had buried a bomb in the outdoor seating area.
Just after a children’s choir finished performing, the bomb exploded, killing 15 people, and seriously injuring roughly 70 more. “Now some people are saying that we planted the bomb!” said one assistant pastor, explaining, “Those people think we are trying to gain sympathy and funding.”
The pastor asked that Christians pray for those who are grieving and struggling to recover from their injuries. He also asked for prayers that the church will be vindicated, that Christ will be glorified, and that peace will come to the DRC.
While the DRC is one of Africa’s largest countries geographically with a Christian-majority population, Islamist groups severely persecute Christians along the DRC’s eastern border.
One of the principal persecutors is the Islamist Allied Democratic Forces (ADF). The ADF is active in the Rwenzori Mountain area and seeks to establish Islamic law throughout the region.
When rebels capture groups of people, they often release Muslims while killing Christians who refuse to convert. There are more than 100 other armed groups operating in the DRC who also target Christians.