They had gathered for worship that morning. Hundreds of people were standing in the church courtyard, waiting to witness baptisms, when a bomb ripped through the church, killing 20 worshipers and injuring 17.
But only a week after the bombing, CEPAC Church in the eastern region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) gathered again – giving us a picture of the courageous resilience of the Church in sub-Saharan Africa. The members of this church in the town of Kasindi refused to let their faith be shaken. Instead, they came together to worship through song and dance, giving thanks to God for His protection and mercy through these powerful words:
You have allowed us to be attacked
You have strengthened our faith
We find ourselves moving forward in Your presence, LORD
You have just taken us to a higher level …
A few days after the bombing, the Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the attack. In sub-Saharan Africa, extremists’ efforts to cripple and eradicate the Church are reaching a tipping point as Christian populations struggle to survive against the increasing violence and growing insecurity. The Church is under attack. In Nigeria alone, a Christian is killed every two hours for their faith.
But, as this congregation in the DRC shows, the suffering Church is also resilient and faithful.
Faithful believers like these worshipers are ensuring the Gospel is lived out even in the most difficult circumstances. Each time we hear a sister or brother bring their grief to God, or watch a church come back together after an attack, we see God at work – in our lives and our world.
Please take just three minutes to watch (and then share) the resilient faith of your persecuted family in action.
“Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you. See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the Lord rises upon you and his glory appears over you. Nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn” (Isaiah 60:1).