Giving hope to persecuted Christians since 1995
Select Page

ICC Note: Islamist radical group known as Muslim Defense International (MDI) has gained strength and continues to threaten the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). other African Islamist groups (Boko Haram, Al-Shabaab, Al-Qaeda) dominate the headlines, MDI has remained relatively under the radar in a region which has been predominately Christian for generations. In the last few years, the eastern portion of the DRC has seen a rise in the Muslim population from 1% to 10% with 63% of the mosques being constructed between 2005 and 2012. MDI tactics are very similar to Boko Haram, including assaults on Christian communities coming in the form of rape, kidnapping, and murder typically with machetes and other silent weapons. According to Aid to the Churches in Need (ACN), sources have reported that the rise in terrorist training camps in the region have grown due to lack of action by UN peacekeeping forces. On October 16, 2014 an MDI attack decimated an entire Christian community, killing a pastor, his family, and 40 church members in the middle of the night. 

10/12/2015 Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) (World Watch Monitor) – In Africa, it isn’t only in the west that Islamist insurgencies are posing a security threat. While attention has been focused on Nigeria’s radical Islamist group Boko Haram (whose attacks have spread to neighbouring Cameroon, Chad and Niger), a relatively unknown militant group has intensified attacks in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), raising fears of the emergence of a new jihadist organisation in central Africa.

The vast country of DRC borders Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and Tanzania to its east. A group of militants originally rooted in a rebel movement to overthrow Uganda’s government and replace it with an Islamist fundamentalist state, but forced to re-locate over the border into DRC, has been carrying out murders of local people, far from the attention of most of the world’s major media.

Attacks including murder, looting, abduction and rape are carried out on an almost weekly basis. At least 19 people lost their lives in four separate attacks in September alone, according to local sources. On 26 Sep., two people were killed as their truck was ambushed near Kokola village. Five days earlier, militants fired on a truck between Eringeti and Kokola. The passengers managed to flee unharmed, but the truck was looted and set on fire. On 15 Sep., three people, including two women and a community leader, were killed in Kokola. Three others, including a police officer, were killed near Oicha; they went out to hunt on 5 Sep. but never returned. Their bodies were found three weeks later, beheaded and decaying. Over the same period, 11 people have also been massacred by suspected militants in various other locations in the Beni area.

Beni is a predominantly Christian area, as is most of the DRC, but Independent Catholic News quotes reports that have stated that, within a few years, the number of Muslims in eastern DRC has risen from 1% to 10%.

According to the 2014 Journal of International Organisations Studies, 28 of the 44 mosques (63%) in the Medina region of DRC, about 50 miles from Beni, were erected between 2005 and 2012.

(Full Article)