(This post contains graphic images of victims of violence.)
I’ve written before about how the church around the world is on the front-lines of some very serious, distressing, and appalling conflicts. News comes recently of the Diocese of Bukavu’s response to the ongoing violence—including killings, rapes, and general displacement—in eastern Congo, a place of conflict for much of the past two decades.
Extracts of the report follow. A reminder, as with anything we read from our sisters and brothers around the world, that English is often their third or fourth language.
The diocese of Bukavu serves to South Kivu Province and a great part of North Kivu Province. In both regions, the security situation is becoming worse because of fighting everywhere, massacre of innocents and massive displacement of people….
A large number of the victims are in displacement in Bulambika Centre and Bukavu town. Many of them are vulnerable people such women, children and old people. They are now living in the families of the Christians who hosted them but their situation is anxious because there is nobody to improve their basic needs….
Therefore, with anxious and sadness in hearts, the diocese of Bukavu recognizing the holistic mission of the Church is humbly requesting your prayers for peace and any kind of support YOU so that these vulnerable victims can get relief.
Their report includes a pictures of victims of the violence.
The full report is posted here, with contact details about how you can be in touch with folks in the Diocese of Bukavu. (The report contains pictures of the victims that are more graphic than these.)
If we take our baptism seriously, these pictures are not simply pictures of dead people but of dead sisters and brothers in Christ, whose suffering we, in a very real way, are connected to. And as the Bible tells us, “If one part suffers, all suffer with it.” (I Cor. 12:26)
Is it more than a little infuriating that the Anglican Communion can work itself into a lather about a proposed covenant, taking up years of time and huge swathes of Internet space, but barely notice when events like this take place?