DRC (MNN) — In the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), the constant stream of death tolls from rebel attacks reads like a Twitter feed — 40 killed in this town, nine killed in that village. On Saturday, at least 31 people were butchered in eastern DRC, mostly women and young children.
Many of these attacks are carried out by the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), an Islamist rebel group. In addition to murdering villagers, attackers often loot and torch homes.
Todd Nettleton with The Voice of the Martyrs says, “There are multiple reports when they go into a village of them singling out Christians for death [and] allowing Muslims not to be killed or even to go free.
“So there is an element to this that is very much Christian persecution and Christians being targeted as they try to create an Islamic caliphate and a place where Sharia law is followed.”
In total over the last two weeks, 72 Christians have been killed in eastern DRC. Thousands of refugees are displaced or fleeing to neighboring Uganda and Tanzania.
These attacks are having their desired effect. The Church in eastern DRC is dwindling.
Nettleton says, “In the area where this attack just happened, there is one denomination that before the violence broke out this denomination had 25 churches in this area. Today they have eight. Another denomination before the violence had 54 churches. Now they have 11.”
Yet, the story isn’t over. God is still at work in DRC, and the persecuted Church needs our support and prayers!
“Those brothers and sisters are a part of our family, and if a part of our family is suffering, of course, we should care. We should care very much about that.”
Nettleton says, “I think one of the ways we can pray is for the government response to this…. ADF is active on both sides of the border. The DRC government and the Ugandan government have tried to cooperate to get more stability, to get more control and more peace in this region. We can pray for those efforts to be effective.”
For persecuted Christians, Nettleton asks, “Pray for a sense of God’s presence with them even as they go through major suffering and these kinds of attacks. Pray that their faith will remain strong.”
Header photo courtesy of Imani Bahati via Unsplash.