Protesters arrested, residents afraid to work

United Methodists in Beni report that bodies believed to be victims of the Aug. 13 massacre are still being found. Meanwhile, a protest march against terrorism turned violent, with a civilian and a police officer killed. Authorities arrested and detained 148 protesters for 48 hours.

Since 2014, the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo, specifically the town of Beni, has been the site of several massacres, with 1,200 to 1,500 estimated killed. While officials say 56 people were killed in the latest massacre, United Methodists in the area have reported that more than 102 people were killed and several injured, including the district superintendent in Beni. The latest attack has been blamed on the rebel Allied Democratic Forces, a group linked to Islamists in Uganda.

The district superintendent, whose name is being withheld for his own safety, reports that in addition to bodies still being found, there have been reports of bodies floating in the Semliki River.

The day after the protests, a person suspected of being involved in the Allied Democratic Forces terrorist group was burned to death.

The district superintendent said the church condemns such acts of revenge.

The lay leader of the United Methodist Church of Jerusalem in Beni said several United Methodist families have survivors of the massacre living in their homes, which is straining the water supply and raising concerns about the spread of disease.

People are worried about malnutrition, since they are afraid to go into the fields to tend crops. He said parents also are afraid to send their children to school.

The church leaders asked for continued prayers for the residents of Beni.

Yanga is director of communications for the East Congo Episcopal Area. News media contact: Vicki Brown, (615) 742-470 or [email protected].


Like what you're reading? Support the ministry of UM News! Your support ensures the latest denominational news, dynamic stories and informative articles will continue to connect our global community. Make a tax-deductible donation at ResourceUMC.org/GiveUMCom.

Sign up for our newsletter!

UMNEWS-SUBSCRIPTION
Mission and Ministry
Tim Tanton (center, in red), chief news and information officer for United Methodist Communications, shares updates with African communicators and other UMCom staff during the 2019 General Conference. World Press Freedom Day, observed May 3, commemorates journalists and highlights the difficulties they face while reporting truth. File photo by Kathleen Barry, UM News

World Press Freedom Day and the church

Tim Tanton with United Methodist News talks about giving voice to the voiceless and why freedom of information is essential not only for society but for the church.

Wesley’s Chapel makes history relevant today

The Methodist congregation at Bermondsey offers practical assistance and the spirit of Jesus to a diverse community.
Bishop Bruce R. Ough gives his address April 29 at the spring 2018 meeting of the Council of Bishops in Chicago. Photo by Anne Marie Gerhardt, Northern Illinois Conference.

Bishops begin high-stakes deliberations

Council of Bishops president said the church is watching as bishops finalize recommendations aimed at fending off church splits over homosexuality.