The killings continue in Northeast Congo. I asked friends in Congo to send news:
From Damiri (church planter, pastor and a bishop over the churches):
There have been many attacks and killings in the region that have caused our pastors, their families and many church members to move, some to Beni, some to Butembo and others in the deep equatorial forest. After several attacks in Biane, pastor Muyali has moved to Beni with his family and some of his church members, most of them displaced and started living at about 40 kilometers from Biane, near Mambelenga.
Last month as Muyali and Alphonso (our pygmee brother) were preparing to build our church in Mambelenga. Killers came day time and shot bullets on people in the market, others were killed by axles and machetes, houses and a clinic were burnt down. They kept their operation until next morning. Our church members ran to Apende for refuge, pastors escaped from killings in Mambelenga, but until today nobody can tell how many were killed in Mambelenga. About a week later Apende was attacked, Noela [Bethuel’s wife] had left two days before the attack, she had been teaching there; after Mambelenga was attacked, there was no taxi taking people out of that zone, Bethuel had to send brother Bosco from Beni to get Noela back to Beni.
During Apend’s attack, Pastor Germain’s family was scattered in the jungle for one day they did not know where is each other family member was, finally when they decided to go to Beni, we thank God they reached Beni the next day after three motorbike break on their way to Beni in very bad spots where killers pass most of the time.
Some of our Church members from Apende are in Beni, while others went to Mongamba where Pastor Elu is planting our church. Five of our churches are closed now due to the massacres. Pastors and their families are now in Beni and Butembo.
It is now about one month since Oicha was attacked, people do not sleep in their houses in Oicha fearing for their lives, because killers come sometimes while people are asleep. So every evening they lock up their houses and go to the city center to spend the night on the main road sides. About three weeks ago we had a group of 50 displaced from Oicha, they came to our church in Butembo for assistance.
Beni is full of refugees from all the suburbs around. The main problem is that, they leave almost everything in their villages and cities, they have no food, no pets, no jerrican to fetch water, no bedding… our churches in Beni and Butembo have been assisting the refugies a little bit, but needs are great.
About one month now, the Italian ambassador got killed at about 15 kilometers from Goma [far to the South]. The officer that went for investigations also got killed.
We have more than 100 rebel groups in our region. But killers in Beni are Islamist “Daesh”.
The situation is complicated, because some of our soldiers are involved, sometimes things that were looted in villages and cities are found in the army barracks.
Thanks for praying for North Kivu and Ituri region.
From Bethuel (pastor, businessman and bishop):
We are grateful to all brothers and sisters who care for the Church in Congo. Indeed, we are crossing a very traumatizing period.
Since the killing of our two missionaries [a few years ago], we have not been able to live in peace. We are serving God in very insecure zones. When one of us goes in those risky zones we feel like we may never see him back again, but God cares.
The ministry is heavy on us but we are not discouraged. Orphans, widows… displaced people cry day and night for help. Six years of bloodshed, it is too much.
God have mercy on us.
Here are the pastors: