Prayers are asked for those in Mbandaka, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where more than 17 people have died since fighting erupted over the weekend. Sandra Gourdet, Africa area executive with Global Ministries, reports that while many parishioners were involved in Easter morning church services, more than 200 armed soldiers in opposition to government authorities entered the city by river and clashed with government and United Nations troops.
Parishioners apparently remained in churches overnight to avoid being caught in the crossfire. Bonanga Eliki, president of the Community of Disciples of Christ in Congo, was not in Mbandaka at the time, but was traveling in the interior of the country with a German group. It has been reported that some of the troops seized control of the airport while others took control of the city and its communication networks.
The Community of Disciples of Christ in the Congo was started by Disciples missionaries in the 1800s. The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Indiana has had a formal partnership with the Mbandaka district of the CDCC since 2008. The CDCC became an independent denomination in 1963, and the relationship with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) is nurtured through Global Ministries. To read background on the situation, visit: