United Methodists among dead from bloody attack in Beni

A United Methodist district superintendent in East Congo was wounded and two of his sisters were killed when the city was attacked on Aug. 13.

Although the government is reporting 51 deaths, the United Methodist leader said the death toll was closer to 101. The attack is being linked to the rebel Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), a partly Islamist armed group of Ugandan origin. News reports said the people were hacked to death.

Judith Yanga, director of communications for the United Methodist East Congo episcopal area, reported a youth leader also lost three members of his family.

The names of the leaders are not included due to concerns for their safety.

Beni is 250 kilometers (about 150 miles) from Goma, said United Methodist Bishop Gabriel Unda, episcopal leader for the area.

“This is not the first time Beni has been victim of such slaughter,” he said.

“East Congo is the part of our country that is most affected by repeated wars since 1960 when Congo became independent,” Unda said.

“People are terribly suffering because of wars and are constantly on the move to flee from terrorists, groups of militia and other evil doers and leave all their belongings behind them. Please pray also for the church, country and its leaders,” he said in an email.

Yanga said residents are abandoning their homes and seeking refuge with host families.

“Until calm comes to the city we don’t really know about the loss of lives,” she said. “We need your prayers, dear brothers and sisters."

Gilbert is a multimedia news reporter for United Methodist News Service. Contact her at (615) 742-5470 or [email protected].

Sign up for our newsletter!

umnews-subscriptions
Theology and Education
Students and staff practice social distancing in order to reduce the risk of spreading the coronavirus as they wait to enter the dining hall at Africa University in Mutare, Zimbabwe. The cafeteria has changed serving and seating arrangements, and meal times have been extended to three hours so those on campus do not all have to be served at the same time. Photo by the Africa University office of Advancement and Public Affairs.

AU shifts to online classes, some students stay on campus

The United Methodist university is practicing social distancing to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
Mission and Ministry
A visitor to United Methodist Mercy Hospital in Bo, Sierra Leone, washes his hands at a wash station before entering the hospital on March 16. Amid coronavirus concerns, the use of handwashing stations, previously used during the country’s fight against Ebola, has been stepped up in public places, including hospitals, banks and schools. Photo by Phileas Jusu, UM News.

Ebola offers lessons in fighting coronavirus in Sierra Leone

United Methodist hospitals among those gearing up as coronavirus concerns grow in the West African country.
Evangelism
The congregation of Glen-View East United Methodist Church celebrates in worship at the Tichagarika Shopping Center in Harare, Zimbabwe. The church holds lunch-hour services at the market on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Photo by the Rev. Taurai Emmanuel Maforo, UM News.

Preaching the Gospel in busy marketplace

Zimbabwean urban church starts lunch-hour services to bring Jesus to market traders, shoppers and others.