DRC

World Watch ranking: 41
Map thumbnail
Leader
President Félix Tshisekedi

How many Christians?
93.4 million (95.2%)

Main threats
  • Islamic oppression
  • Organised corruption and crime

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How many Christians are there in the Democratic Republic of the Congo?

There are around 93.4 million Christians in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), which is 95% of the country’s population of 98.2 million people. Even though most of the country is Christian, believers are increasingly vulnerable to persecution.

How are Christians persecuted in DRC?

Christians who live in the eastern part of the DRC are at incredible risk. The region is home to more than 100 armed groups, some of whom specifically target followers of Jesus. This leaves Christians and churches in this part of the country vulnerable to attacks, including murder, abduction and sexual violence. Church leaders who speak out against the violence put a target on their backs, making it difficult to raise their voices against the atrocities. The violence has led to a massive displacement crisis in the DRC, and many believers are among the displaced. 

In parts of the country dominated by other faiths, converts from both Islam and indigenous religions can be pressured to participate in non-Christian religious activities and ceremonies, adding to the challenges that religious minorities face in the area.

Women living in areas controlled by Islamic militant groups like the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) can face violent persecution for their faith. Women and girls in ADF captivity have even been used as human shields during violent confrontations with government forces.

Meet 'Neema'

“God help me, and may You continue to comfort me.”Neema, whose youngest son was killed in a church attack

What’s life like for Christians in DRC?

On 15 January 2023, Neema* was among those attending a baptism service at a church in Kasindi, led by Pastor Kasuki*, when a bomb exploded. In the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, extremists are using violence to try to establish a caliphate.

A member of the radical group the ADF was later arrested for planting the bomb which killed 15 and injured many more. Neema herself was left with a serious leg injury, her son Danny without sight in one eye – and Neema’s four-year-old was killed.

Immediately after the bombing, Open Doors local partners contacted Pastor Kasuki and visited the congregation in Kasindi. They were able to meet survivors and give emergency aid to affected families, including Neema and Danny. “I feel comforted,” Neema says. “I am grateful to God because you have come to see me. Thanks to you, we have not lacked medicine, we have not yet lacked food or things like soap. You have taken care of us. Thanks to you, we can eat well and we live well.”

“We now understand that we are not alone in the struggle. We are with you, our brothers and sisters, who carry us in your hearts,” Pastor Kasuki says.

The situation in the DRC continues to be extremely violent and volatile for believers. The stories are heartbreaking, and the church is suffering – but the people of God are resilient.

*Name changed for security reasons

How can I help Christians in DRC?

Please keep praying for your brothers and sisters in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Your gifts and prayers make an enormous difference to those following Jesus no matter the cost.

Open Doors works through local partners to support Christians in the DRC through persecution survival training, economic empowerment projects and trauma care. 

please pray

O God, our hearts are broken by the horrific stories of violence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. We grieve with so many believers who have lost loved ones or endured unspeakable evil. We ‘mourn with those who mourn’ (Romans 12:15). Be present, merciful Father, with our sisters and brothers in the DRC – help them to know that You are with them and are their hope. Please, bring peace. In the name of Jesus, be near to Your people. Amen.

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