Troubled History of the DR Congo
The country known as the Democratic Republic of Congo has had a long and unstable history. Initially granted independence from Belgium in 1960, it went through many years of conflict between national parties and foreign armies from the East and West. In 1965, Colonel Mobutu seized power and declared himself president for five years. In 1970 he ran unopposed and changed the country’s name to Zaire. For the next twenty-six years, Mobutu’s leadership was characterized by brutal repression, government corruption, and his own personal theft of billions of dollars of government funds. Those who protested his rule were dealt with harshly and Mobutu was continuously condemned by world leaders.
In 1996, the tribal conflict in Rwanda spilled over into Zaire and became known as the First Congo War. Mobutu was eventually forced to flee and a rebel leader named Laurent Kabila declared himself president and changed the country’s name back to the Democratic Republic of Congo. The First Congo War lasted from 1996-1997. Kabila ruled poorly leading to the start of the Second Congo War that drew in six other African countries. In 2001 Kabila was assassinated and his son, Joseph Kabila, assumed the presidency. The Second Congo war ran from 1998-2003 when a negotiated peace settlement was reached. During that time, the death toll was calculated to be between three and five million people, more than half of them children. Over 75% of the country’s population was impacted in some way by the war.
The Lord’s Work in the DR Congo
The first missionaries arrived in the Congo in the late 1800s. The Livingstone Inland Mission and the Baptist Missionary Society entered the Congo in 1878. Fred Stanley Arnot was the first assembly missionary, arriving in 1884 and followed soon after by several co-workers. From that point onward, Central Africa (Angola, Zambia and Zaire/DR Congo) has had more missionaries than all other areas in Africa combined. The Harlows were there from 1935-1941 before leaving to start the Emmaus Bible School in Toronto and later Everyday Publications in 1964. Everyday Publications continues to support the ongoing work which is under the leadership of national workers.
From 1884 to the present the Lord has worked mightily in that troubled country. Many missionaries were forced to leave over the years due to poor health or civil conflict but they had trained national leaders who were able to continue the work. Many churches were destroyed and large numbers of believers were murdered, but new assemblies were planted and many people turned to Christ. Today EPI ships more Bibles, hymnbooks, commentaries and Bible courses to the Congo than to any other country in the world. Click the link below to get some insight into the terrible conditions after the two Congo wars and how the Lord ministered to His people in those days.
Today the peace has again been shattered. International observers believe that there are over 100 armed groups in Eastern Congo. They are fighting the government and each other, and are mostly characterized by their excessive cruelty as they murder, kidnap, rape, and sexually assault the people of Congo.
Two years ago an award winning documentary was made to focus on the needs of and blessings in the Congo. Click on the link below to watch the documentary, or contact EPI to request a DVD that can be shown in local churches.
We Need Your Help and Prayers
Pray with the believers
Please pray especially for the believers in the Democratic Republic of Congo. We see little about their plight on the news since we are all pre-occupied by the pandemic and by which group of people have more or less privilege than another group. Those in the Congo are dealing with COVID as well, but also Ebola, malaria, murder, kidnapping, assault and crushing poverty. Churches, schools, and hospitals are constant targets of attack. They need our prayers and support to faithfully continue the work they have been entrusted with.
- Ebola, COVID, Malaria
- Murder, Rape, Kidnapping
Rejoice with us!
Everyday Publications has been privileged to continue to partner with the believers at Emmanuel Mission in Northeastern Congo. They will receive, store and distribute the literature shipped from Canada and elsewhere. They provide regular reports as to what has been distributed as well as testimonies from many who have been blessed. Click on the link below for a summary of the literature that has already sent to these needy and grateful believers.
- Testimonies (coming soon)
Pray with us!
- Pray for stability in the country to allow shipping to the Congo.
- Pray for funding for projects.
- Pray for distribution in the country and for many souls to be saved.
- Pray for the delivery of the additional containers of materials that are shipped out as often as possible.