In an effort to give a voice to the voiceless and defend the persecuted, the ACLJ has taken action by shedding light on atrocities carried out around the world. Just recently, we delivered a critical presentation to the U.N. Human Rights Council (UNHRC) on behalf of persecuted Christians in Nigeria. Now we have just delivered another oral intervention defending persecuted Christians in another beleaguered African nation: the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC or “the Congo”).
Christians in the Congo are living under constant threat of violence from jihadist extremist groups like the Allied Democratic Forces (also known as ISIS-DRC). Their senseless acts of violence include attacking, killing, and kidnapping Christians in the Congo. We have told you how in just the first month of 2021, more than 100 people – the majority of which are Christians – have been murdered in the Congo. According to a senior analyst from Open Doors, “followers of Jesus are at risk for kidnappings and having their homes destroyed.”
The State Department has even taken note of the atrocities being carried out by ISIS-DRC in the Congo and has recently designated the Allied Democratic Forces/ISIS-DRC as a Foreign Terrorist Organization. According to the State Department, “ISIS-DRC has been notorious in this region for its brutal violence against Congolese citizens and regional military forces, with attacks killing over 849 civilians in 2020 alone . . . .”
In order to help save Christian lives, we, through our international affiliate, the European Centre for Law and Justice (ECLJ), delivered a critical oral intervention to the U.N. Human Rights Council (UNHRC) advocating on behalf of Christians being murdered in the Congo.
As we stated in our presentation to the UNHRC:
Thank you, Mr. President.
The purpose of this intervention is to draw this Council’s attention to the alarming and increasing violence against Christians that is occurring in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
According to reports, a jihadist group known as the Allied Democratic Forces “is a militant Islamic group with a clear mission of attacking, kidnapping and killing Christians, as well as training and sending jihadists to other countries in Africa.”
In fact, in just the first month of 2021, over 100 people – mostly Christians – were murdered by Islamic militants. Civilians are being attacked and killed with guns and machetes.
The vicious attacks that have occurred this year follow on the heels of multiple other attacks in the final three months of 2020, where nearly 50 people in the Congo, again, most of whom were Christians, were murdered, among other inhuman atrocities, by Islamic terrorists.
This escalating violence closely mirrors the horrific violence faced by Christians in Nigeria, and in other parts of Africa, where groups like Boko Haram and the Fulani herdsmen kill with impunity.
The international community must act and must assist the Congo and places like Nigeria to stop these deadly attacks on Christians and other innocent civilians.
I thank you.
Senseless violence being carried out against Christians needs to stop. The international community must join together to address the violence as well as the growing humanitarian crisis. Join us as we continue to advocate for persecuted Christians around the world.
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