A massive second wave of popular protest has been called for by the people of Congo for Sunday, January 21st. These protests, which come shortly after violently suppressed protests on December 31st, aim to increase pressure on president Joseph Kabila and draw international attention to the ongoing suffering of the Congolese people.
Congo has experienced over two decades of war, driven largely by a lust for the country’s vast natural resources. Throughout this period religious leaders, especially the Catholic Church, have supported the people’s struggle against horrific, systemic, and widespread destruction and violation of human life. In recent weeks as the negotiated deadline for national elections again passed, Church leaders, including the Archbishop of Kinshasa, Cardinal Monsengwo, the president of the Church of Christ in Congo (UCC),Pastor François Ekofo, and the leader of the Islamic community in Congo, Cheikh Ali M’Kuu, have raised a united moral voice against the Kabila regime.
In these uncertain and dangerous times faith leaders and the people of Congo are calling on religious leaders and people of faith across the world to support the people of Congo and to denounce the destructive and violent forces that are creating so much suffering and misery.
The Kairos Center is asking its network to respond by signing this petition and spreading the word to your networks (resources can be found here). We also encourage religious leaders to consider using some of the liturgical resources developed by leaders in Congo.
For Kairos, supporting the people of Congo is deeply connected to the values and principles of the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival. While we struggle against the forces that take and degrade life in the United States, we know that our struggle is global and that ultimately we must not only come together to build the new and unsettling force of the poor and dispossessed in the U.S., but in the whole world.
- “Demonstrations Against Kabila in Congo Leave at Least 6 Dead,” New York Times.
- “DR Congo: Several deaths in anti-Kabila protests,” BBC News.