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LUBUMBASHI / St Vincent Province, DR Congo

As though the C-19 pandemic was not bad enough, Lubumbashi is also faced with what is suspected to be a tribal conflict. Being conscious of its potential danger, the archbishop of Lubumbashi exhorts his flock to not to lose hope and find courage and strength in the Lord. Here below Sr. Beatrice Tshilemba gives us a résumé of his pastoral letter. One more intention to place before the Lord !

Moved by concern for the people, sharing the same sufferings and in virtue of the prophetic mission linked to his pastoral charge, His Excellency the Metropolitan Archbishop of Lubumbashi addressed a message to the Catholic faithful, the political-administrative authorities and the security forces, men and women of good will, dated 19 May 2020, entitled: "I have seen the suffering of my people and have heard their cry" (Exodus 3:7).

In addition to all the suffering caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, the situation in the province of Haut Katanga in general and in the city of Lubumbashi in particular is both dramatic and traumatic. Not a night goes by, the Archbishop said, without hearing that rapes, thefts, killings and armed robberies are being committed, mainly on the outskirts of the city where modest populations live. Worse still, burglaries, robberies and killings take place even during the day before the helpless eyes of those who are supposed to protect the population. 

This situation is a source of concern and raises some questions among the population, namely: Who are these people who operate with impunity? Do they have hidden agendas? What are their sources of arms, ammunition and vehicles? Who benefits from all these crimes?

The Archbishop points out that the population is facing two formidable enemies: the Coronavirus and the armed bandits who both bring insecurity.

Thus the Archbishop calls for vigilance and solidarity. He asks the people not to lose their trust in God because "hope does not deceive" (Rm 5:5) and to never forget that "unless the Lord guards the city, the watchmen watch in vain" (Ps 127:1). "May the Lord be our protector and support" (Sir 51:1-2). "People of Upper Katanga, be strong and stand firm" (Cfr. Joshua 1:7). "May the Virgin Mary, Our Lady of Peace, intercede for us and may the Almighty protect and bless our Province! »

It is therefore a message of peace, hope and comfort, in this disastrous situation, that the Archbishop of Lubumbashi, Monsignor Jean Pierre TAFUNGA, addresses to the Catholic faithful and to the Katangese population.


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