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Children in a displacement camp in northeast DR Congo
Photo: Open Doors via World Watch Monitor

Islamist militants are suspected to have killed between 20 and 40 villagers in the eastern areas of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Late in the evening on May 3rd, attackers carried machetes and axes into a village located within the North Kivu province. "Between 8 p.m. and 10 p.m., the enemy managed to get past army positions and kill peaceful residents in their homes," reports local administrator Bernard Amisi Kalonda.

A Christian missionary adds that thousands of people have already fled the area since the militants' unexpected attack. "It was eerie; hundreds of houses (have been) abandoned and thousands of people displaced," the missionary says of the mass exodus. "I saw four coffins and a funeral or two on the road. I saw people carrying their mattresses and things in cars, on motorcycles, on foot. Hundreds of homes along the road are abandoned. Where there was a thriving community, there is now a ghost town."

The local population in the related area is overwhelmingly Christian (95.8 percent), and the resulting impact on them has been immense. Referencing the attack, a pastor of a church in the community reported that the people are terrified. While some contemplated fleeing again, others have opted to stay in hopes that things will normalize soon.

Thank you for joining us in prayer for the families who have lost loved ones, and for the community at large after having experienced forceful expulsion from their homes. May they take comfort in the knowledge that wherever they go, God will always be with them (Deuteronomy 31:6). Uphold those in need of healing from physical injury or emotional trauma due to the attack -- whether the Lord works through the giftedness of medically trained experts or another means of His divine intervention. Also intercede for the perpetrators responsible for this horrific attack. May they come to know the God of those they persecute and, as a result, be able to proclaim Him as their own Saviour and Lord.