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Pray for the Elections in Congo

July 30, 2006


Friends of
Initiative,

This Sunday, July 30, 2006, David Kasali will serve as an official “neutral observer” in the DR Congo’s first democratic presidential elections in nearly 50 years. It will be 46 years to the date, July 30, 1960, that a young, 6 year old David Kasali joined in the celebration as the Belgians granted independence to his country.

Today we received this prayer update from “Christians for a Just Society in ,” an organization started in the ‘90’s during the Kenyan democracy movement by our friends at Nairobi Chapel. Please read, and join us this weekend in prayer.


DRC: REMEMBERING THE FORGOTTEN

The people of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) go to the polls on Sunday for the first time in four decades to elect a President and Parliament. The history of that country is one filled with pain and suffering. Its first leader, Patrice Lumumba, was assassinated in 1961 shortly after independence. Dictator Mobutu Sessesseko seized power in a 1965 coup and ruled the country as his personal property (much like King Leopold of had done before him) for the next 32 years. During that time, the country became a byword for corruption, underdevelopment and bad governance. Mobutu was ousted by Laurent Kabila in 1997. Kabila was assassinated three years later and replaced by his son Joseph as President.

Since civil war broke out in 1996, 3.9 million people have been killed or died from conflict-related causes. 40,000 women and girls have been raped since 2000. Even with a formal peace agreement in place, 1,200 people continue to die in fighting every day. This is equivalent to a tsunami death toll every six months. Congo’s has been described as the world’s deadliest crisis since World War II.

Congo is one of the richest countries in the world, endowed with minerals, tropical rain forests and rich soils. And yet its people are desperately poor. As the citizens fight each other, outsiders treat themselves to the country’s mineral wealth with impunity and reckless abandon.

The process leading up to Sunday’s election has not been trouble-free; they have been postponed twice before. Though they have attracted the participation of former warlords some of whom serve in the transitional government headed by Joseph Kabila, one of the country’s major political parties, led by former Prime Minister Etienne Tshesekedi, is boycotting the election. Tension remains high.


Prayer points:

* PRAY for the people of DRC. In the midst of all the suffering, many have questioned God’s love for them and their country. Pray that they would indeed experience the love of Jesus in a special way at this time of transition. Pray for the many Christian workers who endure many difficulties to reach out to the lost in the Congo.

* PRAY for a free, fair and peaceful election and that the voters would have wisdom in choosing their new leaders.

* PRAY that the former belligerents would accept the outcome of the election and that none would take up arms again to accomplish political objectives.

* PRAY for forgiveness for the rest of us in the world for ignoring or neglecting the pain and suffering of our brothers and sisters in the Congo.


Democracy is not a panacea for human suffering, but it makes for a hopeful start when people are able to freely choose their own government which can be held accountable to protect them, uphold fundamental rights and guarantee their freedom, including.
is marking a milestone this weekend and we join all the Congolese in petitioning heaven to transform what was once referred to by Novelist Joseph Conrad as “the heart of darkness,” into an oasis of light to the glory of God.