The Democratic Republic of Congo is four times the size of France in area and has rich mineral resources, including gold, diamonds, ores and oil. Despite this wealth of natural resources, a majority of the 85 million inhabitants live in deep poverty because of greed and corruption in the political and economic spheres. In addition, there are armed conflicts between incessantly changing rebel groups. The Church often has to step in where the state fails in solving social, political and development problems. To fulfil its tasks, it was once again able to count on ACN’s support in 2019.
The change of government was the central event in the Democratic Republic of Congo in 2019. The Church had participated in the protests against long-time President Joseph Kabila in the run-up to the elections. And the protests were successful. The President dropped his candidacy. This was an important milestone in the fight against corruption and despotism in the political system. Since then, hopes have been resting on the new President Félix Tshisekedi.
In late November 2019, the bishops of the dioceses of Butembo Beni and Uvira addressed an open letter to the President to draw attention to the continuing violence and insecurity in the east of the country and to call on the government to finally take effective measures against it. The Church is an unmistakable voice in the Congo when it comes to pointing out grievances and promoting social change.
This would be unthinkable without stable spiritual guidance and pastoral grassroots work by priests and religious, who often have to master their service under the most difficult conditions.
What ACN offers is something no other organisation can provide.
ACN not only helps them renovate what are frequently dilapidated rectories, but also provides them with vehicles for pastoral care. In addition, we provide funding for the training of future priests, religious and catechists.
Support for 97 seminarians
In February 2017, Christ the King Seminary in Malole in the Archdiocese of Kananga in southern Congo was looted, ransacked and partially set on fire by rebels. With the help of ACN, the seminary has been rebuilt.
There are now 97 seminarians studying there – more than ever before! We supported their education with 8,000 euros in 2019. Another 7,200 euros went to teachers at the seminary in the form of Mass stipends.