Repeated ceasefires between multiple rival militia groups, and an attempt at transitional government after the assassination of President Laurent Kabila in 2001, failed to bring lasting stability.
The use of rape as a weapon of war against women has been a tragic hallmark of the conflict in D.R. Congo. For more about this, visit our HEAL Africa page.
Violence against women, along with other issues such as the plundering of mineral wealth (which helps arm the militia, yet renders ordinary Congolese poverty-stricken) has brought D.R. Congo increasingly to the world's attention.
Yet, while shocked and motivated to bring about a solution, the international community has at times appeared powerless to act in the face of such complex and intractable strife.
Christians in D.R. Congo
With religious freedom in D.R. Congo since 1980, a Christian-majority population, and a significant Christian influence on what limited services are available such as education and health, the Church in D.R. Congo has grown rapidly.
However, the combined impacts of warfare, poverty and nominalism, and the ever-present influences of traditional and syncretistic religions and practices such as witchcraft, means that individual Christians often lack maturity in the faith, while churches have an ongoing requirement of strengthening in biblical principles and teaching, and trained pastoral leadership.