Loading...
Loading...
Click here if you don’t see subscription options
The Associated PressJanuary 17, 2023
A woman carries a cross in front of a large bannerA young woman carries a cross during a march in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo, to protest escalating violence in the country, Dec. 4, 2022. Deadly violence hit Christians in Africa Jan. 15, 2023, with a Catholic priest in northern Nigeria burned to death and as many as 17 Christians killed in a blast in the eastern DRC. (CNS photo/Justin Makangara, Reuters)

ROME (AP) — Pope Francis on Tuesday sent his condolences to the victims of a bombing on a Pentecostal church in eastern Congo, an attack claimed by Islamic militants two weeks before the pontiff is due to arrive in the country.

Authorities say Sunday's bombing in Kasindi, a town in North Kivu province, killed at least 14 people and injured more than 60. The Islamic State group and its Aamaq news outlet said militants had planted an explosive device inside the church and detonated it while people were praying.

Francis addressed the telegram of condolence to the Rev. Andre Bokundoa-Bo-Likabe, whom the Vatican identified as the president of the Church of Christ in Congo.

According to the telegram, Francis expressed “his compassion and closeness to all the families hard hit by this tragedy” and called for peace.

According to the telegram, Francis expressed “his compassion and closeness to all the families hard hit by this tragedy” and called for peace.

Francis is due to arrive in the Congolese capital Kinshasa on Jan. 31 for a three-day visit. When it was originally scheduled for July, the trip was supposed to include a stop in Goma, the capital of North Kivu.

The Vatican scrapped that leg of the trip, amid a new wave of attacks in parts of North Kivu. Violence has wracked eastern Congo for decades as more than 120 armed groups and self-defense militias fight for land and power. Nearly 6 million people are internally displaced, and hundreds of thousands are facing extreme food insecurity, according to the United Nations.

While he won't be going to Goma, Francis will meet with some residents from the east and victims of the conflict in Kinshasa.

The latest from america

In an interview with Colleen Dulle, Anglican Bishop Jo Bailey Wells talks about attending a meeting of Pope Francis’ Council of Cardinal Advisors where she spoke about her experience as an ordained woman.
Colleen DulleMarch 04, 2024
The troubled Catholic outlet's fate was announced by a law firm representing a priest who had sued Church Militant for defamation.
The new recording of “How Great Thou Art” features a new verse, a different beat and a chance to provide humanitarian aid to Ukrainians and other Eastern Europeans in the midst of war.
Is our intense focus on the form of liturgical celebration placing a disproportionate emphasis upon the Eucharist as the summit of Christian life?
Michael OlsonMarch 04, 2024