Pope Francis Appeals For Halt To DR Congo Violence

On Sunday, Pope Francis condemned a wave of violence in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, claiming that many Christians had been slaughtered for their faith.

“Painful news continues to arrive of clashes and massacres in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo,” the 87-year-old pontiff said at the end of Sunday Angelus prayer.

“I appeal to the national authorities and international communities to do everything possible to stop the violence and safeguard the lives of civilians.”

Francis said “many Christians” were among the victims of the recent bloodshed, “killed in hatred of the faith”, describing them as “martyrs”.

“Their sacrifice is a seed that germinates and bears fruit and teaches us to bear witness to the Gospel with courage and coherence.”

Since the beginning of June, about 150 people have been killed in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo by militants linked to the Islamic State group.

Congolese police blamed the Allied Democratic Forces group for an attack in the Beni region overnight Wednesday, which killed 42 people, some of whom were decapitated.

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