AFRICA/CONGO DR - "Let us live!" from the East of the DRC the cry of complaint, but also of hope, of Christians

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Kinshasa (Agenzia Fides) - "The plunderers have stolen God from too many children and women in this country because it is still possible to be silent." It is one of the provocations contained in a letter from the east of the DRC (Democratic Republic of Congo), where the inhuman violence against the civilian population not only is a crime, but question the Church to be a beacon of hope and the bearer of love of Christ, even in a humanly desperate situation.
To try to respond to this challenge for evangelization, a group made up of Catholics and Protestants (Groupe Chrétien de Réflexion et d'Action, GCRA) held a meeting in Bukavu (South Kivu in the capital) in July 2012 . The final document of the meeting entitled "Let Us Live" was sent to Fides Agency. Women are the main victims of violence in the region that have been going on for more than 15 years. The testimony collected by the GCRA are shocking: women raped in front of their husband and children, sexual torture, husbands murdered, daughters kidnapped for the sex trade, looting and destruction of homes. "Families, communities, culture, social life, everything is destroyed by these acts," is what is stated in the document. "It is a process of dehumanization that crushes everything ... until the creation. No doubt the perpetrators of these crimes do not comprehend that they are the first to be affected by the dehumanization that they inflict on others. Some of them are themselves victims of the violence of their armed group, and are obligated to do so."
THE GCRA stresses that the local church must be able to accommodate the victims (often blamed by the community for the violence suffered), increasing the efforts that are already carried out in the health, psychological, social and pastoral field. The GCRA offers some suggestions to help local communities to find their way in the light of the Word and to continue to offer a glimmer of hope to those who have lost it. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 18/12/2012)