United Methodist Bishops call for prayers for peaceful elections in Congo
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The bishops of The United Methodist Church are calling for prayers of peace for the Democratic Republic of the Congo, which is witnessing violence in the buildup to the presidential elections on December 23, 2018.
Here is the statement from the Council of Bishops:
As President of the Council of Bishops of The United Methodist Church, I am joining our colleague bishops in the Democratic Republic of Congo in a call for prayers for peace in this great country as citizens prepare to vote in the presidential elections.
The Democratic Republic of Congo has been one of the strongholds of United Methodism for decades and has about one-tenth of all United Methodist membership with its bishops serving in major leadership roles in our global denomination.
So, we are asking that you set aside a day to offer prayers for the Democratic Republic of Congo, especially on December 23, the day set for the elections.
Recently, a delegation of bishops and representatives from General Board of Global Ministries were in Kenya where they had a chance to meet with the ambassador from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The ambassador allowed the bishops to pray for him and asked them to keep the DRC in prayer for peaceful elections.
During a special session of the Congo Central Conference held in Kolwezi from December 11-13, 2018, the Congo College of bishops led delegates in prayers for the elections. Furthermore, the Congo Central Conference bishops have taken a proactive approach by conducting electoral civic education seminars with the support of the General Board of Global Ministries and the General Board of Church of Society to ensure that citizens are empowered to exercise their right to vote.
As bishops of the church, we appeal for calmness during this time of great anxiety, and we condemn all forms of violence in the run-up to the elections. We are saddened by the deaths of those who have been killed just because they wanted to participate in this democratic process. We extend our sympathy, acknowledge their pain and stand with all peace-loving Congolese.
As brothers and sisters in Christ who share in the Cross and the Flame, we call upon the name of Jesus Christ, who is our peace (Ephesians 2), and we search for the fruit of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5) in these events.
Bishop Kenneth H. Carter
President, Council of Bishops
The United Methodist Church
Rev. Dr. Maidstone Mulenga
Director of Communications - Council of Bishops