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June 4 2013 | BUKAVU, DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO

The Community of Sant'Egidio prays for peace in Kivu

Young people from different ethnic groups in the city gathered to pray for peace

 
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Last Wednesday a prayer was held at Notre Dame de la Paix (Bukavu’s Cathedral), which was attended by the city's young people.

The word of the Lord Jesus from the Sermon on the Mount resounded during the prayer: "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will inherit the land."

It was the opportunity to remember that many conflicts arise because ethnic groups and tribes are obsessed with "owning land", driving out the others, those who are not like us. The gospel teaches us that the only way to own land is to work for peace, and this is possible only with non-violence, just as Jesus asks: “You have heard that it was said to your ancestors, ‘You shall not kill; and whoever kills will be liable to judgment’. But I say to you, whoever is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment, and whoever says to his brother, ‘Raqa,’ will be answerable to the Sanhedrin, and whoever says, ‘You fool,’ will be liable to fiery Gehenna. Therefore, if you bring your gift to the altar, and there recall that your brother has anything against you, leave your gift there at the altar, go first and be reconciled with your brother, and then come and offer your gift”

The prayer was a moment of reconciliation that was attended by children of the Banyamulenge ethnic group and of other ethnic groups in the city.

  We lit candles remembering these days’ victims, the wounded and so many places at war in the world.

At the end of the prayer Eric, a Munyamulenge young medical student, thanked the Community because this prayer broke the fear and the siege syndrome being lived by the Banyamulenge people in the city during the last few weeks. He also told how he was attacked in the street because of his accent, and how he was defended by a few old women who knew him. Afterwards, he made an appeal so that the places of worship be respected: they are - he said - the house of God but not of our ethnic groups. After that, Eric and Angelique of the Community told about their visit to the hospital to see the injured (more than 40). Everyone was happy to learn about the prayer, because it is the only hope to restore peace in the country.

 


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