WORLD WATCH LIST

Democratic Republic of the Congo

#41

Christians risk extreme and violent attacks from Islamic extremist groups.

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“Our brothers who were thrown into the lion’s den.. They stood firm in Christ. And we will persevere in the faith because they were like us."

– Pastor Jean, Pastor in DRC (2023)

Country
Profile

Region
Africa
Sources of persecution
Islamic Oppression and Organised Corruption and Crime
Population
98,152,000
Christian population
93,396,000
Religions
Christianity
Leader
President Felix Tshisekedi
Score
67

What’s Life Like For Christians?

Christians who live in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) are at incredible risk. The region is home to more than 100 armed groups, some of whom specifically target followers of Jesus. This leaves Christians and churches in this part of the country vulnerable to attacks, including murder, abduction, and sexual violence.

Church leaders who speak out against the violence put a target on their backs, making it difficult to raise their voices against the atrocities. The violence has led to a massive displacement crisis in the DRC, and many believers are among the displaced. 

In parts of the country dominated by other faiths, converts from both Islam and indigenous religions can be pressured to participate in non-Christian religious activities and ceremonies, adding to the challenges that religious minorities face in the area. Some church leaders who have spoken out against corruption and violence have reported incidents of verbal harassment and interference as a consequence of their advocacy.

The situation in the DRC continues to be extremely violent and volatile for believers. The stories are heartbreaking, and the church is suffering—the people of God are resilient, but the violence can be overwhelming. 

Who Is Most Vulnerable To Persecution?

Women living in areas controlled by Islamic extremist groups like Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) can face violent persecution for their faith. These women and girls are vulnerable to abduction, rape, trafficking, sexual slavery, and forced marriage to extremist fighters.

Church leaders who speak out against violence are particularly susceptible to brutal and extreme attacks. If captured, they could face maiming, abduction, forced labour, sexual mutilation, and death.

PRAY FOR DRC

– Pray that God will protect His people from violent attacks.

– Ask God to provide for the needs of Christians who are displaced due to the fighting.

– Pray for the hearts of the extremists to turn to the hope and truth of Jesus.

What Does Open Doors Do To Help?

Open Doors works through local partners to support Christians in the DRC through persecution survival training, economic empowerment projects, and trauma care.

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