31 January 2023

Over 1,000 displaced Christians in DRC receive aid, thanks to you

Violence is continuing to displace Christians in the Democratic Republic of Congo – but believers have not been forgotten. Thanks to your prayers and generosity, displaced Christians in Komanda have received food and other relief aid.

Suzana is from a village in the Ituri Province in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). It’s a beautiful part of the country. But she, along with hundreds of others, have been driven from their homes by the Islamic militant Allied Democratic Forces (ADF).

By killing men, kidnapping women and driving these mostly Christian people from their land, the attackers are seeking to carve out a caliphate where they can live life according to Sharia (Islamic law) and take the riches the land has to offer. Their sphere of influence now covers swathes of territory in North Kivu Province, as well as the Ituri Province to the north where Suzana’s home village is located. 

During the summer last year, members of ADF killed at least 17 Christians in nearby areas, including one pastor and two elders. The pastor, Joel Tibasima Bamaraki of the Anglican church, in his 30s, was married and a father of one. They also destroyed at least two church buildings.

A welcoming village – but few resources

Many Christians – including Suzana – have fled to Komanda, a village on the northeast border of DRC opposite Uganda. The population in Komanda has almost doubled as people have fled surrounding villages and sought refuge there. But it’s not much of a haven. There aren’t enough resources to go around – not enough food or shelter for the ever-growing number of internally displaced people. 

“It is the war that brought me here. When we arrived here, the pastor received us,” Suzana explains. 

Most of these displaced Christians spend their nights in the local church or school. They sleep on thin reed mats on the cold floor. Early in the morning, they pack up their things and spend the day outside so that village children can attend school, and programmes can continue to run in the church.

Pastor Paul, whose congregation has been caring for Suzana and the other displaced Christians in Komanda, told Open Doors, “It’s clear that they suffer enormously. They sleep rough and spend their days outside, even when it rains.”

Pastor Paul’s church has been very generous, but their resources are limited. “We have no support apart from the contributions of other Christians, so when we see that these displaced Christians do not have stability, we are overwhelmed,” he says.

Over 300 families receive aid, thanks to you

But thanks to your prayers and support, Open Doors partners have been able to help 310 Christian families in Komanda, which is about 1,500 people. Each family received 25kg of rice, 20kg of beans, 0.5kg salt and two bars of soap which would last them a few months. “The displaced people are really filled with joy. Even we, the church, are very happy and we thank God for this organisation for having thought of them,” Paul says.

Suzana is one of the believers who was supported with this aid. “I received rice, two bars of soap, two sachets of salt and beans. I say thank you for the work that your organisation has done through the church,” she says.

Desagne, another beneficiary, added, “We pray that God will bless you abundantly. I pray that God will bless you because thanks to you we eat rice and beans.”

Please continue to pray for our persecuted church family in DRC. Pastor Paul says, “We pray that God grants peace in the country, that He grants wisdom to the leaders to see how they can help us. This is our prayer: that the war will stop.”

  • That God will comfort all those who have been displaced in DRC, and that He will settle them in safe places
  • For the ministry of Pastor Paul and his church, that they will be able to continue to provide food, aid and shelter
  • That the violence in DRC will stop, and that God will turn the hearts of the militants to Himself.
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Find out more about the persecution facing Christians in the DRC – and other countries where it’s hardest to be a Christian – with our Top 50 booklet. It features short country profiles, testimonies, prayer requests and an overview of latest trends, including the rising violence affecting believers in sub-Saharan Africa.

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