The latest rebel conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo broke out in August 1998. Today more than half the country is under the control of various rebel groups, with 1.1 million people displaced by the fighting.
The Democratic Republic of Congo - formerly the Belgian Congo - gained its independence in 1960. The population is mainly Christian, most being Roman Catholics. The first Anglican diocese was established in Boga in 1972, and there are now seven dioceses covering all of the country.
Despite the considerable problems caused by fighting and lack of government services, the church is continuing with its activities. The whole of the Diocese of Boga is in an area controlled by Ugandan-backed rebels, but Rev Samuel B Alio writes from the Archdeaconry of Aru that "even though it appears there is no proper government, the Church administration is going well." He reports that the youth group in Aru organised team evangelisation in every market in the Archdeaconry - a project that took two and a half months to complete.
Several seminars have been run for women in all the parishes, and a three-day seminar was arranged for the church teachers. "All these activities are made to make the church alive in the time of war," Samuel writes.
"We need your prayers for the end of the war," he continues, "support for human power to evangelise more people in difficult situations. We need material aid for those who lost property during the war, (and for the) terrible hunger in Aru after a drought of six months."
Item from: Congo Church Association