Plans Underway in DR Congo’s Butembo-Beni Diocese to Raise Funds for Victims of Violence

Bishop Melchisédech Sikuli Paluku of DR Congo's Butembo-Beni Diocese .

Plans are underway for the people of God in the Catholic Diocese of Butembo-Beni in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to raise funds for victims of violence during the Sunday, January 10 Eucharistic celebration in various Parishes of the Diocese.

According to a Thursday, January 7 news report by Radio Moto Butembo-Beni, the decision to have the special collection was reached January 4 at a meeting between the Local Ordinary, Bishop Melchisédech Sikuli Paluku and Parish Priests.

“We will collect special offerings on January 10, Sunday of the Baptism of the Lord. This collection will take place from the first to the 4th Mass,” Bishop Paluku has been quoted as saying during the interview with Radio Moto Butembo-Beni. 

The Bishop explained that through the collection, the faithful who have been praying for the victims of violence in the region will be able to “translate into action the good solidarity expressed through prayer.”

The United Nations (UN) has reported multiple attacks targeting civilians in Eastern DRC that have resulted in the death of dozens of villagers.


“At least 25 villagers are reported to have been killed in recent attacks attributed to the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) militia in the villages of Tingwe, Mwenda and Nzenga, near Beni territory, in North Kivu province,” UN News has reported.

In the Thursday, January 7 news report, the UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres is quoted as having “strongly condemned the violence against civilian population” and called “for the perpetrators of these atrocities to be swiftly brought to justice.”

The ADF is believed to be responsible for the execution of at least 30 people whose bodies were found in the locality of Loselose within Beni territory in North Kivu Province on January 3.

The militia group is reportedly also responsible for the attack that led to the killing of 22 civilians in Mwenda on December 28. 

In the interview with Radio Moto Butembo-Beni, Bishop Paluku noted that the attacks in Beni which have led to displacements have left “almost empty” parishes in his Diocese. 

More in Africa

“These parishes are almost emptied of their inhabitants. The survivors have moved to Kasindi, Beni, Butembo. As a result, we have more IDPs now than we did a month ago or a few weeks ago,” decried Bishop Paluku.

Referencing the victims of violence, the Bishop said, “They are our brothers and sisters. So, it is time to share. It remains a requirement for every Christian.”

Besides presenting their own offerings, the 68-year-old Congolese Bishop has urged parents to “give something to their children to offer when they go to Mass” on January 10.

He went on to urge the people of God in his Diocese to pray and intercede for an end to the violence. 

The January 10 collection will add onto the offering presented by the children from Musimba Parish during the Mass of the Epiphany that was held on Sunday, January 3.


The Local Ordinary of Butembo-Beni Diocese noted that the proceeds of all collections will be handed over to Caritas officials who are expected to facilitate the assistance to victims of violence.

Magdalene Kahiu is a Kenyan journalist with passion in Church communication. She holds a Degree in Social Communications from the Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA). Currently, she works as a journalist for ACI Africa.