DRC: Church Troubled by Instability causing Mass Immigration in Central Africa

By Arnold Neliba

KANANGA, JULY 15, 2022 (CISA)-The president of the Association of Episcopal Conferences of Central Africa (ACEAC) has raised concerns over the continuous mass movements within the three countries; Rwanda, Burundi, and the Democratic Republic of Congo caused by poverty, recurrent insecurity and repeated wars.

“There is the challenge of peace. The Great Lakes sub-region is renowned for its high level of activity by armed groups that sow terror and insecurity. On the one hand, the development of armed groups is fueled by the illicit exploitation of natural resources and the absence of political dialogue. On the other hand, inter-ethnic conflicts are born and develop in particular thanks to political crises, poor access to the benefits of natural resources and basic social services,” Archbishop Marcel Madila of Kananga, DR-Congo said during the July 7 to 9 ordinary session.

The archbishop said the challenges in the region are multiple from evangelization, environmental, economic and developmental. He urged the Church at the end of its 14th ordinary assembly to revitalize its peace campaign undertaken for 10 years titled, “Peace at the Great Lakes”.

Archbishop Madila said “In connection with the evangelization and pastoral care of migrants and refugees for more than two decades, Central Africa is confronted with a plethora of Churches, which distil a reductionist catechesis and little are concerned with healthy spiritual practices. On this point, we see a kind of religious propaganda with pernicious methods of recruiting young people and the temptation of families to accept conditional social offers in the face of growing poverty.”

As part of the recommendations of the plenary, the archbishop asked people to dissociate themselves from any movement of sedition, often inspired by envy and hatred, as well as from any gesture of homage to exclusion and the spiral of violence.

To the political decision-makers, “we recommended to combine their efforts and their energies for the construction of harmonious coexistence in the heart of Africa, and to promote the discourse of peace, harmony, unity and Brotherhood. We have, in the same vein, urged religious leaders and all believers to become artisans of peace as privileged heralds of the Gospel of love and reconciliation.”

ACEAC brings together Rwanda, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo.