Congolese Mourn Murdered Priest and Nun

Anti-Christian Violence Grows

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BUKAVU, Congo, DEC. 8, 2009 ( In two separate incidents near Bukavu, a priest and a nun were murdered in a growing wave of anti-Christian violence.

Aid to the Church in Need reported today that the Catholic Congolese are «in shock» after the «brutal» killings.

Father Daniel Cizimya Nakamaga, 51, was shot in the head on Sunday when gunmen stormed his home in Kabare, smashing a window to enter the presbytery.

Monsignor Pierre Bulambo, vicar general of the Bukavu Archdiocese, affirmed that «the archdiocese has fallen victim to an act of barbarism.»

He continued: «The people have been traumatized and are very afraid. The Congolese are fed up of crying and dying.»

The priest said: «We admire the bravery and compassion of the people of Kabare in support of their departed priest. How they have responded is an example to everyone.»

Two days after the priest’s murder, Sister Denise Kahambu was killed in an attack on a Trappist monastery north of Bukavu.

Father Bunyakiri Crispin, rector of the nearby St. Pius X Seminary, was one of the first to respond to the emergency call for help. He stated that the witnesses saw the nun, who was in charge of the guests at the monastery, being confronted by three attackers who shot her.

The priest reported, «One of the guests said she heard shouting and then saw an armed man running towards her but she shut herself in her room.»

Another woman, a worker at the monastery, said that one of the intruders demanded money from her and tried to shoot her when she refused.

The other nuns took refuge on the dormitory floor, where they prayed the rosary and sang Psalm 129, for the soul of Sister Kahambu and the community.

Father Crispin reported that this is the fourth attack on the nuns since 1996.

Monsignor Bulambo affirmed that the killings in the archdiocese are the latest in a whole series of attacks on Christians. He recalled that two months ago, two priests were «imprisoned like rats» when attackers set fire to their presbytery.

In fact, the archdiocese’s leader, Archbishop François-Xavier Maroy Rusengo, was forced to leave the assembly for Africa of the Synod of Bishops in Rome to return to Bukavu when two priests were abducted and held for ransom.

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