Pope Francis on December 30, 2018, offered prayers for several challenges facing the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), which is on the same day holding national elections.
The Pope’s remarks came after praying the noonday Angelus with a crowd of some 50,000 pilgrims in St. Peter’s Square.
“Let us pray together for all those that in the Democratic Republic of the Congo suffer from violence and from Ebola.” the Holy Father said. “I hope that everyone will be committed to maintaining a peaceful atmosphere, which will make possible a regular and peaceful carrying out of the elections.”
DRC has been torn by war in recent years. In a June 2018, interview with Aid to the Church in Need, Father Apollinaire Cibaka Cikongo explained the situation in his country:
“Now that there has been an outbreak of Ebola, The Congo has found its way back into the news. However: why is no one mentioning the war casualties? All losses are of course terrible, but 40 to 50 people may die during an Ebola outbreak. The geopolitical wars have cost the lives of more than 12 million people in my country. Hundreds of children are dying of hunger. God is crying in my country. That is where you have to go to dry His tears.”
According to Fides News Agency, the National Episcopal Conference of the Congo (CENCO), is providing more than 40,000 observers in an effort to ensure that today’s elections are fair. However, various news agencies are reporting problems.