Kinshasa (Agenzia Fides) – The desecration of Catholic churches in the Democratic Republic of Congo continue, after the assaults at St. Dominic Parish in Limete, in the capital Kinshasa on February 19, and at the major seminary of Malole in Kananga, in Central Kasai, on 18 February (see Fides 21/02/2017).
According to information sent to Agenzia Fides, during the night between 21 and 22 February, unknown persons attacked and vandalized the parish of Santa Maria of Lukalaba, in Eastern Kasai, while another group attempted to loot the parishes of Saint Robert Kansele and Saint Albert le Grand in Mbuji-Mayi, but their violent action was interrupted by the arrival of the police. In Lubumbashi (Haut-Katanga), Saint Kizito parish was assaulted by unknown persons who tried to set fire at the entrance of the church with cans of gasoline and tires, smashed the windows of the place of worship and the adjacent school, which was also looted. The same thing happened in the parish of St. John the Baptist in the district of Gbadolite, and in the Convent of the "Servants of St. Joseph" in the same city.
The Apostolic Nunciature in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the local Episcopal Conference (CENCO) and the UN Stabilization Mission in the DRC (MONUSCO), have condemned the acts of vandalism against the structures of the Church.
"Places of worship belong to everyone. Those who attack them strike a common good of all the Congolese people", said a joint statement signed by His Exc. Mgr. Louis Mariano Montemayor, Apostolic Nuncio in Kinshasa, by His Exc. Mgr. Marcel Utembi Tapa, Archbishop of Kisangani and President of CENCO, and by Maman Sidikou, the Nigerian diplomat at the head of MONUSCO, calling for the immediate cessation of such acts of vandalism. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 24/02/2017)