“Our country is in danger, build a new Congo”: Catholic Bishops to Newly Elected Leaders

Members of the National Episcopal Conference of Congo (CENCO) with President Félix Tshisekedi. Credit: Presidency of the Republic of DRC

Members of the National Episcopal Conference of Congo (CENCO) have called on new leaders elected following the 20 December 2023 general elections to “build a new Congo”, noting that the country is already riddled with many challenges.

In a statement issued Tuesday, January 16, CENCO members said, “Our country is in danger, no nation can be built on contempt for moral values.”

“In view of the many socio-political, economic and security challenges facing our country, the DR Congo, we appeal once again to the competent bodies responsible for ensuring stability, justice and national cohesion, to use their wisdom and conscious intelligence to build a new Congo, in unity and peace,” Catholic Bishops in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) said.

On December 31, the Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI) declared President Félix Tshisekedi winner of the Presidential poll with 73 percent of the vote as opposed to 18 percent that his main rival, Martin Fayulu, garnered. 

In their January 16 statement, Catholic Bishops in DRC called on the President to “be the guarantor of national unity and territorial integrity”, adding, “We will make our contribution to help him succeed in his second and final term for the benefit of the Congolese people.”


The Catholic Church leaders called on the government to “take the necessary and urgent measures to discourage the xenophobia and tribalism that were evident in speeches throughout the electoral campaign and to put in place a political mechanism to strengthen national cohesion.”

They invited the Congolese people to “live together in solidarity and national cohesion, so that the DR Congo does not sink into violence and division.”

“The future of a country depends on its people. Let us remember that we do not liberate a people, the people liberate themselves. Let every Congolese feel involved in building our country,” CENCO members said.

They urged all Congolese to “remain vigilant and committed to the exercise of our sovereignty.”

The Catholic Bishops called on young people “not to allow themselves to be manipulated and used by political actors who exploit them for their own selfish interests.”

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“To all the Congolese people and to all people of good will, we reiterate our call for dialogue, calm, peace and appeasement,” they added.

CENCO members implored, “We entrust our country and its future to the protection of God, Master of history, who never abandons his people. May the Virgin Mary, Queen of Peace, together with Blessed Anuarite and Bakanja, intercede for us.”

Jude Atemanke is a Cameroonian journalist with a passion for Catholic Church communication. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of Buea in Cameroon. Currently, Jude serves as a journalist for ACI Africa.