Pope Francis sent condolences for an attack on Pentecostal church in Democratic Republic of Congo. The Pope is preparing to visit the Democratic Republic of Congo on the 31st of January to the 3rd of February. Violent attacks continue to leave many civilians dead or wounded, especially in the east of the Central African nation.
On January 16th, suspected terrorists bombed the Pentecostal church in the eastern city of Kasindi on Sunday. Hundreds of worshipers had gathered to welcome new members to the community in baptism. A blast rocked the church’s courtyard, killing at least 14 people and wounding more than 40 others. The so-called Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack, and the Congolese army blamed the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), which is allied to ISIS.
Pope Francis expressed his grief for the terrorist bombing in a telegram sent on Tuesday.
Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin signed the telegram, which was addressed to Rev. André Bokundoa-Bo-Likabe, President of the Church of Christ in Congo.
The Pope said he was “saddened to learn of the attack on a Pentecostal church in Kasindi, which caused the death of innocent people.”
He also expressed his “compassion and closeness to all the families affected by the tragedy.”
The Holy Father entrusted the victims to the mercy of God.
In eastern Congo there has been decades of violence, with over 120 armed groups and militias active in the region.
At least 6 million people have been internally displaced by the violence, many of whom are facing extreme food insecurity, according to the United Nations.
REV. ANDRE BOKUNDOA-BO-LIKABE
PRESIDENT OF THE CHURCH OF CHRIST IN CONGO
HIS HOLINESS POPE FRANCIS LEARNED WITH SADNESS OF THE ATTACK AGAINST A PENTECOSTAL CHURCH IN KASINDI WHICH CAUSED THE DEATH OF INNOCENTS. HE EXPRESSES HIS COMPASSION AND CLOSENESS TO ALL THE FAMILIES HARD HIT BY THIS DRAMA. IN PRAYER, THE HOLY FATHER ENTRUSTS THE DEAD AND THE WOUNDED TO GOD'S MERCY. HE IMPLORES CHRIST, LORD OF LIFE, SO THAT THE AFFECTED MAY FIND CONSOLATION AND CONFIDENCE IN GOD, INVOKING ON THEM THE GIFT OF PEACE.
CARDINAL PIETRO PAROLIN
HIS HOLINESS SECRETARY OF STATE
Source: https://press.vatican.va/content/salastampa/it/bollettino/pubblico/2023/01/17/0046/00083.html and Vatican News