Catholic Bishop in DR Congo Condoles with Protestants after Sunday Bomb Attack

Entrance to the Church of Christ Congo, (ECC-CEPAC) in the Eastern Congolese city of Kasindi. Credit: Courtesy Photo

The Bishop of Butembo-Beni Diocese in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has expressed his solidarity with the victims of the Sunday, January 15 attack on a Protestant church in the Central African nation that reportedly left at least 17 people dead and several others injured.

An explosive device was reportedly detonated at the Church of Christ Congo, (ECC-CEPAC) in the Eastern Congolese city of Kasindi, on the border with Uganda, leaving 39 people injured, BBC News reported.

In a statement issued Monday, January 16, Bishop Melchisedec Sikuli Paluku condemns the attack on the Protestant church and prays for the victims and their families.

“The Diocese of Butembo-Beni presents its Christian condolences to the families affected by this heinous act, and reassures them of its fervent prayers in this time of trial,” Bishop Paluku says in the statement shared with ACI Africa.

He adds, “These condolences are also addressed to the inhabitants of Kasindi-Lubiriha as well as to all the members of the ECC-CEPAC.”


“The Diocese of Butembo-Beni reminds us that anyone who kills is against God's plan,” the Congolese Catholic Bishop says. 

He continues, “The Diocese of Butembo-Beni recommends to those who have the regalian obligation to protect citizens as well as their property to scrupulously enforce the principle of the sacredness of life and the inviolability of places of worship.”

Meanwhile the leadership of ECC has condemned the January 15 attack, saying it serves to demonstrate that in DRC, “the consolidation of the authority of the State in order to guarantee a lasting peace remains a major challenge”.

“The ECC demands that all means be used to initiate credible investigations to establish responsibility,” ECC national president, Rev. André-Gédéon Bokundoa, has been quoted as saying. 

He encourages the defense and security forces in the Central African nation “to carry out their sovereign mission.”

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ECC Leadership also “calls on the government to declare a national mourning in memory of the victims and take charge of the funeral of these sons and daughters of the country with dignity.”

Rev. Bokundoa also urges the government to “take charge of the care of all the wounded scattered in different hospitals.”

In the January 16 BBC report, the Congolese military blames the attack on the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), reported to be one of the most notorious active rebel groups in Eastern DRC.

“A Kenyan national has been arrested in connection with the attack,” the BBC report has indicated.

The January 15 attack has happened just a couple of weeks before Pope Francis begins his previously postponed trip to two African countries from the DRC.


Like the itinerary in the postponed visit, the January 31 – February 5 two-African-nation trip is scheduled to begin in the capital city of DRC, Kinshasa, and conclude in South Sudan’s capital city, Juba.

In a statement, the Congolese government has expressed its "deepest condolences" to the bereaved families following the January 15 attack.

DRC has been experiencing violent clashes in the East, particularly in the Ituri, Kasai, and Kivu regions, Global Conflict Tracker has reported.

Dozens of armed groups are believed to operate in the Eastern region of the Central African nation despite the presence of more than 16,000 UN peacekeepers.

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.