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Congolese Mennonites suffer atrocities amid displacement of 1.4 million

Menno Simons’ favourite verse was chosen for the cloth commemorating the centennial of Communauté Mennonite au Congo (Mennonite Community in Congo). Mennonites in the Democratic Republic of Congo are currently facing violence and displacement in the conflict-plagued Kasai region. (Photo by James Krabill)

Standing at the site of a Mennonite church in Kalonda village in Kasai Province, this 16-year-old mother said that her husband was murdered in her presence. She and her child are not named for security reasons. (MCC photo by Joseph Nkongolo)

In Kele village near Tshikapa in Kasai Province internally displaced people answer questions posed by the assessment team providing input for a collaborative Anabaptist response. (MCC photo by Joseph Nkongolo)

Downtown Kikwit in Kwilu province. Kikwit, which is home to many Mennonites, has received thousands of refugees from the Kasai region. (Photo by Rod Hollinger-Janzen)

Soap and salt purchased by Mennonite Church of Congo to assist refugees. (Photo by Rod Hollinger-Janzen)

A primary school plundered during March clashes between Kamuina Nsapu rebels and police in the Kasai region of DR Congo. (Photo © UNICEF / Dubourthoumieu)

Christine Mamina and Adolphine Tshiama, national secretary and national president, respectively of the Women's Association of Mennonite Church of Congo. (Photo by Rod Hollinger-Janzen)

Joseph Nkongolo, coordinator of the Development and Service Department of Mennonite Church of Congo. (Photo by Rod Hollinger-Janzen)

WARNING: This story contains graphic descriptions of violence.

Dozens of Congolese Mennonites have been killed, hundreds of their homes have been burned, and thousands of them have fled, as violence consumes the Kasai region, birthplace of the Mennonite church in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Supporting women’s education with a party and a quilt

Martha Wiens stands in front of a quilt she made to raffle off at her 80th birthday party. Proceeds will support a scholarship for a young woman to attend Meserete Kristos College in Ethiopia. (Photo by Michael Wiens)

When retired teacher Martha Wiens of Leamington (Ont.) United Mennonite Church turned 80, she threw herself a birthday party with purpose. She auctioned off a specially made quilt to raise money in support of a young woman’s education at Meserete Kristos (MK) College in Ethiopia.

Three stories of throwing

In March 2017, I spent 10 days in Hebron and observed three throwing situations that showed a microcosm of the occupation in that Palestinian city. Hebron, a major city in the southern West Bank, is where some 800 Jewish settlers, protected by hundreds of Israeli soldiers, have moved into the old city, among the Palestinian population.


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