Kinshasa, 14 April, 2021 / 6:30 pm (ACI Africa).
Victims of rebel militias in the Eastern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) are being forced to convert to Islam, Catholic Bishops in the country have said, warning of a threat of Islamism in the Central African nation.
In a report to the Catholic Pontifical Organization Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) International, the Bishops make an appeal to the Félix Tshisekedi-led government to stop the militias who they describe as religious “predators.”
The report, which ACN leadership shared with ACI Africa, includes the summary of a fact-finding trip by a joint delegation of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of DRC (CENCO) and the Association of Ecclesiastical Conferences of Central Africa (ACEAC) that visited the Provinces of North Kivu and Ituri in January.
From their trip, representatives of the national and regional conferences of Bishops conclude that there is “the Islamization of the region as a sort of deeper strategy for a long-term negative influence on the general political situation of the country.”
The Bishops informed ACN that prisoners who escaped the Islamist militia Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) confirmed “that they had been compelled to convert to Islam.”