The Democratic Republic of the Congo is a country rich with natural resources and human potential, yet both are being lost in an ongoing conflict to control the country’s natural wealth. War and related humanitarian crisis has killed more than 5 million Congolese women, children and men since 1998, making this one of the bloodiest conflicts since World War II.
Women and children are caught in the crossfire. The statistics of rape and violence against women are alarming. A woman is raped nearly every minute in the DRC. Women not only suffer the trauma of rape but subsequent shame and humiliation. Their husbands often leave them, and rape is not just a weapon of war but part of a greater societal belief that men are entitled to women’s bodies.
As people of faith we cannot stand by silent.
For one week in October communities and organizations around the world work to raise the profile of the Congo during Congo Week. United Methodist Women partner Friends of the Congo offers some suggestions for you can take action:
- Show a film.
- Organize a forum.
- Contact your elected official.
- Invite Friends of the Congo to your community.
- Use the Congo Week liturgy [PDF] in worship services.
- Spread the word.
Let’s continue to work for a world without violence, lead by love and respect and comfort in knowing that everyone is taken care of—by God and one another.