A brutal attack on a congregration gathered at Muturale Pentecostal Church in South Kivu Province, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, left 37 women, children and men dead and many more injured as assailants opened fire. The injured, who were celebrating Pentecost at the time, were taken for treatment to hospital in Bukavu and Uvira in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.
Bishop Bahati Bali-Busane, of Bukavu Diocese, has appealed to churches and partners for prayers for peace between the ethnic groups as well as financial support for practical assistance for those affected. The church in Bukavu is sheltering those too afraid to return home, and providing food and medicine to those in need.
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In a report sent to the Anglican Alliance, Bishop Bahati said:
“On June 6th, 2014 at 8PM, a massacre has been done against the people of Mutarule village of Pleine de la Ruzizi located between Bukavu and Uvira towns of South Kivu Province in D.R. Congo. The night of Pentecost (June 6th 2014), a group of militias having guns, knives, pangas, etc. have attacked the Christians gathering for prayer in the Mtarule Pentecostal Church. They have killed men, women and children. 37 people were killed but others have been seriously injured. They are now in Bukavu and Uvira hospitals for treatment.”
“This event has caused the massive displacement of Mutarule people who are now living with neither shelters nor food and any other kind of supplies. On June 21st 2014, the Governor of South Kivu Province has invited the Church Leaders of South Kivu, asking them to mobilise the people by preaching a message of peace and reconciliation between the different tribes in conflict. But also, for nowadays, the people of Mutarule need assistance of food, medicines, clothes etc. as they live in displacement. Therefore, we are submitting this report to our dear friends and partners to require your prayers and any kind of assistance in favour of the victims of Mutarule massacre. The people of South province in D.R. Congo need prayers for peace between tribes.”
In the picture: displaced communities in Bukavu, DRC, following previous ongoing violence in 2012.