Eron Henry, Associate Director of Communications
Neville Callam, General Secretary
Baptist World Alliance
December 4, 2008
For Immediate Release
Congolese women pray for country
Washington, D.C. (BWA)--Baptist women in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) have invited Baptists everywhere to join them in prayer for their country on Saturday, December 6.
The special prayer emphasis is in response to the recent upsurge in fighting in the DRC between government forces, Mai-Mai pro-government militias, and a rebel group, the National Congress for the Defense of the People.
“The war is true and sad. People die day and night,” wrote Anne Ponzi, vice president of the Baptist Women’s Union of Africa, who lives in the DRC. “Those in refugee camps are in very bad conditions. Those left in towns, villages and hiding in forests are raped and maltreated. Young people are forced into the army. All these lead to diseases and epidemics,” she said.
“We the Congolese Baptist Women are planning a day of special intercession for war victims. The day is December 6, 2008,” said Ponzi.
At least 100 civilians have been killed, and an estimated 250,000 persons displaced by the latest round of fighting. Millions were already displaced in the DRC and bordering countries such as Uganda , Burundi and Rwanda as a result of the Second Congo War waged between 1998 and 2003, as well as other flare-ups since the official end of that war. The Second Congo War resulted in the deaths of an estimated four million people.
Baptist World Aid, the relief and development arm of the Baptist World Alliance, gave a grant of US$30,000 in November to provide food, water, and shelter for displaced persons in the DRC.