On Sunday, June 27, Emmanuel Catholic Church was bombed just an hour before families were due to gather for a children’s confirmation service. The bomb injured two women who were in the church preparing for the day’s service. An hour later, a second bomb was found and defused at Saint Therese church. The Islamic rebel group Alliance for Democratic Forces (ADF) is believed to be behind the attacks.
At this time there is little movement in the city, which in May was placed under martial law to stem ongoing rebel attacks. Officials have banned gatherings of any sort, including church services. A believer, Atonisha Kambale*, who lives in the neighborhood of the bombed church, told Open Doors what he saw the morning of the church explosion and what the situation is like right now in the city:
“It was very early … I was still in bed. I heard a bomb explosion. I later realized the explosion was in the church. I got there at 7 am … people were really in great anxiety, the mothers and members of the parish were crying, others were talking, pronouncing words of despair.
“I felt really tormented by what I witnessed. We hoped that [martial law] would bring more security. So, when this attack happened, it really upset me. It is really painful. People are depressed and in despair. There is not much movement in town. People have to remain home because we think there are other bombs in places.”
Listen as Atonisha shares from the DRC: