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Islamic State bombs church service in Congo

Map of the Democratic Republic of Congo / Shutterstock

Rome Newsroom, Jan 16, 2023 / 03:00 am (CNA).

The Islamic State has claimed responsibility for a deadly bombing at a Protestant church service on Sunday in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

At least 10 people were killed and more than three dozen injured in the terrorist attack on a church in the eastern Congolese town of Kasindi on the border with Uganda on Jan. 15, according to The Associated Press.

Congolese government officials linked the attack to the Allied Democratic Forces, an armed group in eastern Congo that is an affiliate of the Islamic State.

“The attackers used an IED to carry out the attack and we suspect ADF is behind the attack,” Bilal Katamba, the spokesman for Uganda’s military operation, told AFP.

The Islamic State later claimed responsibility for the attack on its Telegram account.

The church bombing occurred just weeks before Pope Francis is set to travel to the Democratic Republic of Congo at the end of this month.

The pope is scheduled to visit the Congolese capital of Kinshasa from Jan. 31 to Feb. 3 where he will meet with victims of violence from the country’s eastern region.

Nobel Peace Prize winner Denis Mukwege has said that hopes the pope’s January visit will shed light on the “crimes against humanity” occurring in the DRC’s eastern region.

The Allied Democratic Forces attacked a Catholic mission hospital in the country’s northeast province of North Kivu in October and killed six patients and Catholic Sister Marie-Sylvie Kavuke Vakatsuraki.

Another armed rebel group, the M23, executed 131 people “as part of a campaign of murders, rapes, kidnappings, and looting against two villages,” the U.N. reported on Dec. 8.

The violence in eastern Congo has created a severe humanitarian crisis with more than 5.5 million people displaced from their homes, the third highest number of internally displaced people in the world.


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7 Comments

  1. Speaking interreligiously, the difference between fading Christianity and the rise of ISIS zealotry from within Islam is the revealed doctrine of original sin. Three points:

    FIRST. this complex doctrine as examined by Ratzinger/Benedict in “An Introduction to Christianity”:

    “Terms like original sin, resurrection of the body, Last Judgment, and so on, are only understood at all from this angle, for the seat of original sin is to be sought precisely in this collective net [!] that precedes the individual existence [!] as a sort of spiritual datum, not in any biological legacy passed on between utterly separated individuals. Talk of original sin means just this, that no man can start from scratch any more in a status intigritatis (completely unimpaired by history).”

    SECOND, his meaning is, that for each and all of us, we all begin “within the framework of the already existing whole of human life [together!] that stamps and molds him.”

    But Islam “start[s] from scratch” without either original sin or history, by dismissing even the era in Arabia prior to Muhammad as “the days of ignorance.” Likewise, in the West (!) we also disconnect and disintegrate into a resentful and post-progressive menagerie of superficial half-truths and worse–cancel-culture “ignorance,” mere intersectionality, and tribal identity politics. Where for Christians however, and as Benedict explains, God stands at both the beginning and at end of the totality of our entangling human history and situation: that is, before the “net” of radical Fallenness, and in the Giftedness of Redemption and Resurrection (Alpha and Omega, both).

    THIRD, therefore, each person’s real dignity is found our spiritual and personal struggle–rather than in any accommodation (!) with a fallen world (e.g., by synodally undefining even morality?); or any un-accommodation (!) of our universal human community (e.g., under cultic jihad by ISIS). In our compact world a durable and lasting Fraternity depends, therefore, upon a complete understanding of our shared human nature and, ultimately, upon the reality of the incarnate and whole Jesus Christ.

    All politics are ultimately theological…

  2. Ethics and Islam are far apart. Though referred to as “the Religion of Peace”, if the designation wasn’t so unbelievable, it would be laughable. The true God of the Bible enjoins the believer to peace. It is a challenge at times, yet this is how we are to conduct our lives. Peace, not slaughtering our neighbours or those who disagree with us.

    Psalm 11:5 The Lord tests the righteous, but his soul hates the wicked and the one who loves violence.

    Romans 14:19 So then let us pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding.

    Matthew 10:28 And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.

    Jeremiah 22:3 Thus says the Lord: Do justice and righteousness, and deliver from the hand of the oppressor him who has been robbed. And do no wrong or violence to the resident alien, the fatherless, and the widow, nor shed innocent blood in this place.

    Proverbs 10:11 The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life, but the mouth of the wicked conceals violence.

    Proverbs 10:6 Blessings are on the head of the righteous, but the mouth of the wicked conceals violence.

    If a Muslim would like to learn of Jesus and the salvation that comes with belief in His name, it would be an honour to discuss Him with you.

    God bless all who read the words of theLord.

  3. The Islamic State Muslims of Congo hereby demonstrate that they can be as savage and cruel as their co-religionists in Nigeria. Francis will offer weak condolences and a vague condemnation of generic religious violence and fundamentalism. Noting changes.

    The reality of jihad has faded in Western consciousness in the years since 9/11 (and especially since the advent of the woke and covid madness), but the threat has only grown. Africans, Middle Easterners, and others feel the sword daily. Atrocities occur regularly in the West as well, but they are merely treated as unavoidable facts of life that we must learn to live with. If anything, appeasement and surrender policies have only intensified. The open and constant warfare waged on Christians in the Third World will reach the First soon enough. The question is whether our political and religious leaders will even then allow us to fight back.

  4. Question to the editors: Why doesn’t William Kilpatrick write on Islam here any longer? If he has retired, someone else should pick up the baton. The subject needs attention.

  5. Maybe we ought to dialogue with Isis and accompany them in their sin. At least that’s what Bergoglio would advocate.

    • Dear Edward:

      Let us join our hearts in prayer for Muslims, that they come to know the exceeding joy of following Jesus Christ, the saviour of mankind.

      We are being tested and if we proclaim the Gospel to the follower of Islam, through God’s hand, some will find the truth that is in the Bible and put their confidence in Jesus Christ.

      Ephesians 2:8-9 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.

      John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

      Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

      Romans 3:23 For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

      Acts 4:12 And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”

      Thank you for your sincerity and desire to strengthen the Church through the excellence that is Jesus Christ.

      Yours in Christ,

      Brian

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