Catholics call for peaceful elections in DR Congo
The Archbishop of Kinshasa, Fridolin Ambongo, has appealed “to the patriotic conscience of our people” to be peaceful during the presidential campaigns and upcoming elections and “not to succumb to provocation.”
The Congolese Catholic Church, which opposed the perpetuation in office of President Joseph Kabila and forced Kabila who has been in power since 2001 to step aside, said it has no preferred candidate among the three main contending candidates among which is Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary, whom President Kabila hand picked as a successor. The Bishops episcopal conference said they simply want a candidate that would “respect fundamental laws and be a man of his word, honest and of good morality who does not expropriate the country’s resources.”
The Bishops called for “credible elections for a real democratic alternative” which they hope will unite the war torn poverty stricken country.
The catholic Church has organized street protests to force Kabila out of office in December 2017 and early in 2018. About 15 people were died in the protest and President Kabila, criticizing the Church had said early in the year that “nowhere in the Bible did Jesus Christ oversee an electoral commission,” and demanded that the church needs to “Render unto God what is due to God and to Caesar what is due to Caesar.”
About 40% of Congolese in the Democratic Republic in the predominantly Christian country with only about 10% Muslims.
Hassan John is West Africa Editor GCN and Priest of the Anglican Diocese of Jos.