Area: 2,345,410 sq km
Congo contains most of the Congo River system and much of the vast Central African rainforest.
Population: 67,827,495 Annual Growth: 2.80%
Official language: French. Trade languages Lingala/Bangala in north and northwest, Swahili in east and south, Tshiluba in centre and Kikongo/Tuba in west Languages: 217 All languages
Largest Religion: Christian
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The Christian Church is an essential entity for rebuilding the DRC. It remains the only viable national social structure to survive and retain some credibility. Its role in rebuilding the nation is crucial. Most hospitals, clinics and schools now operate with Christian initiative. The Catholics admirably invest much into these institutions. Pray for Christian leaders of spiritual maturity and moral integrity to be raised up for ministry both in the Church and in society. Many leaders compromised and lowered their standards during the manipulative dictatorship of Mobutu and the chaos of the 1990s.
The Church of Christ in Congo (ECC) was a conglomeration forced by government edict in 1970, which artificially bonded conservative Protestants, Pentecostals/charismatics and syncretistic African Initiated Churches, sixty-five denominations in all. Most evangelical leaders are now in favour of their membership in the ECC. Positive benefits include a reduction of tribalism in the Church, a reduction of unnecessary competition, rationalized administration and increased cooperation in training schemes and media. But today, restructuring, change and renewal are imperative in order to face the daunting challenges that exist. Pray for:
a) Nominal Christians to find new life in Christ. Nominalism is a major problem. Large numbers have no clear grasp of repentance and faith in Christ nor of salvation by grace and not works. Much nominalism is due to inadequate preaching of the gospel, satisfaction with a superficial response and failure to follow up with those touched by the preaching. There is a notable lack of biblical knowledge in most churches; pray that the Bible would be read, used and applied in churches in the DRC.
b) Revival churches, which are growing rapidly. Their spiritual liveliness and strong faith are positive, but many lack biblical teaching and are often led by charlatans who use their pastoral position for personal gain rather than to serve the faithful. Prosperity theology runs strong through these churches and draws in many with its promises of wealth for a population in desperate economic straits.
c) Syncretism, witchcraft and false teachings to be rooted out of the Church. Animistic thought patterns, occult influences and fear of witchcraft are major problems present in the underlying culture, polluting the faith of millions. Such continued spiritual ties oppress Christians and stymie their spiritual growth. Many are falsely accused and subject to cruel exorcism rituals. The JWs with glossy literature and cheap Bibles are making rapid inroads into the country.
d) Biblical leadership patterns. The cultural tendency toward centralized leadership has sometimes harmed local congregational life and initiative. It has stimulated hierarchical structures and has increased power seeking, pride of position and misuse of funds. It has compromised the Churchs prophetic role. Changes must come, but not at the expense of unity, fellowship and cooperation.
For an additional 6 Challenges for Prayer see Operation World book, CD-ROM, or DVD-ROM.
The Operation World book, CD-ROM, and DVD-ROM provide far more information and fuel for prayer for the people of Congo-DRC.