At least 14 people died, and about 63 sustained injuries on Sunday, January 16th, when an improvised explosive device (IED) went off during a church service in Kasindi, north-eastern DRC. They were gathered with dozens more at the Evangelical CEPAC church for a special New Year’s prayer service where over 60 new converts would be baptized. The church building was packed to capacity, requiring some people to sit outside. Then, at 11 am, just as the preacher had begun his sermon, the blast went off indiscriminately injuring and taking the lives of young and old alike.
The Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the attack carried out by the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), a Ugandan militia group that pledged allegiance to IS in 2019. The ADF was listed as a foreign terrorist group by the US government in 2021 but has been in operation within the region since the 1990s. It is one among the 120 militant groups scattered throughout eastern DRC and has been linked to hundreds of killings in this past year alone. A UN Panel of Experts noted with concern that the ADF’s tactics were becoming increasingly overt and deadly with the use of IEDs and suicide bombers.
Eastern DRC has suffered instability and insecurity for decades due partly to these militia groups. Their constant fighting for the mineral-rich land and political power has resulted in millions of internally displaced people who lack access to adequate nutrition, health care, education, and other basic services.
Unfortunately, on Wednesday, January 25th, there was another explosion about 50 miles north of Kasindi at the Macampagne market in Beni, Eastern DRC. The blast wounded at least 17 people, including children, waiting in line at a cassava mill. No group has yet claimed responsibility for this attack, but it shows just how dangerous daily life can be for the people of Eastern DRC.
Great Commission Ministries has responded to the CEPAC church bombing by sending representatives with food, clothing and other necessities to comfort and assist the affected families, orphaned children, and CEPAC church leadership.
We ask you to pray for the following:
- Comfort and strength for the affected families.
- The Pastors and Christians in Eastern DRC to remain firm in the face of these attacks and that the blood of these martyrs would be a seed of revival throughout Central Africa.
- The peace of Christ to reign as Pastor Balume in Calvary Chapel Goma and other servants of Christ preaches the Gospel in Eastern DRC.
- The salvation of ADF and IS militants and other militia members in Eastern DRC.
We thank God for the opportunity to be a blessing to the church and people of Kasindi.
This is made possible by your prayers and financial support, so thank you for being a GCM partner.
And as you have refreshed these people, may the Lord Jesus Christ refresh you.