Catholic Bishops Urge “whole Church to intensify prayers for peace” in Eastern DR Congo

Members of the National Episcopal Conference of Congo (CENCO). Credit: CENCO

Catholic Bishops in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) are appealing to the people of God in the Central African nation to show their solidarity with the inhabitants of the Eastern part of the country through intensified prayers. 

In a statement issued Tuesday, February 20, the President of the National Episcopal Conference of Congo (CENCO) encourages Local Ordinaries to offer Holy Mass for peace.

In the statement, Archbishop Marcel Utembi Tapa of Kisangani Archdiocese laments that the insecurity situation in the country has been “deteriorating, especially in the eastern part”, and calls on the “whole Church to intensify prayers for peace.”

Archbishop Utembi recommends that “a special prayer for peace be said at the end of each Mass, as the Church does from time to time in certain circumstances.”

The President of CENCO further recommends that “each Bishop finds a day when a Mass will be celebrated in his Diocese to pray for peace in the country and particularly in the Eastern part.”


Violence in Eastern DRC has created a severe humanitarian crisis with more than 5.5 million people displaced from their homes, reportedly the third-highest number of internally displaced people in the world.

A February 14 United Nations report indicates that civilians in Eastern DRC “are bearing the brunt of localized violence, amid a sharp uptick in fighting between Government forces and the M23 armed group.”

More than 120 armed groups are fighting for control of the Eastern DRC, a region rich with natural resources.

In his February 20 statement, Archbishop Utembi proposes this prayer for peace to be said at the end of Holy Mass in DRC:


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 Lord Jesus Christ!

You are Emmanuel, God with us.

We come to you in this Lenten season to find comfort at the foot of your Cross.

We entrust to you our Congolese brothers and sisters, troubled for several decades now

by the insecurity that has claimed millions of lives, particularly in the east of our country.


So many times over the years, we have tried to resolve our conflicts through our own powers.

But, alas, our efforts have been in vain: the conflict persists; our compatriots continue to die.

Lord, we come to you, imploring your peace.

Hear us! 

Destroy in us, through the power of your Blood, all seeds of hatred, vengeance and greed.

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Remake us from within and give us a new heart.

Look with compassion on the evils that afflict us.

Help our fellow victims of atrocities to find peace and tranquility.

Touch the hearts of our rulers and all warring parties.

May they turn to You, in respect for the rights of peoples and human dignity.

Grant forgiveness to those who support war.

Support the efforts of those who mobilize for peace and true dialogue.

Inspire us all with words and deeds that bring comfort and a spirit of peace.

Lord, may your love dwell in us! May our gaze reflect the joy of your Gospel.

May our actions bear witness to your presence among us and your compassion for our brothers and sisters left to their sad fate!

You who live and reign with the Father in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever.

R/. Amen.

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.