Rituals of Resistance
Rituals of Resistance

Waves of militia violence and grinding poverty blight the Democratic Republic of Congo as the President refuses to step aside; in this chaos, Catholic priests have emerged as unlikely political dissidents.

 Alarmed at the dire condition of life for their congregations, the priests of Congo have attempted to broker elections with the brutal regime. Many look to them and the rituals of the Church for guidance and assurance as Congo approaches a tipping point.

Alarmed at the dire condition of life for their congregations, the priests of Congo have attempted to broker elections with the brutal regime. Many look to them and the rituals of the Church for guidance and assurance as Congo approaches a tipping point.

 Acolytes Kumu, Maleba and Booto hold the ceremonial cross of La Paroisse St. Benoit, Lemba, Kinshasa.

Acolytes Kumu, Maleba and Booto hold the ceremonial cross of La Paroisse St. Benoit, Lemba, Kinshasa.

 Père Jean Nkongola, La Paroisse St. Dominique, Limete, Kinshasa.  “We want to see change. We know that an election can bring peace to the country”.

Père Jean Nkongola, La Paroisse St. Dominique, Limete, Kinshasa. “We want to see change. We know that an election can bring peace to the country”.

  Ngonga Ebeti, Tango Ekoki   A priest blesses acolytes and choirgirls after Sunday service at St. Benoit, Lemba, Kinshasa. The site of a recent shooting during anti-government protests.

Ngonga Ebeti, Tango Ekoki

A priest blesses acolytes and choirgirls after Sunday service at St. Benoit, Lemba, Kinshasa. The site of a recent shooting during anti-government protests.

 Worshipper Feza Mikombe at St. Francois de la Salle, Kitambo, Kinshasa. A church heavily involved in political activism that organised street protests in the name of peaceful elections.

Worshipper Feza Mikombe at St. Francois de la Salle, Kitambo, Kinshasa. A church heavily involved in political activism that organised street protests in the name of peaceful elections.

 Père Julien Wato, St. Dominique, Limete, Kinshasa.

Père Julien Wato, St. Dominique, Limete, Kinshasa.

  Muzina di Tata, E di Mwana   A young acolyte holds the cross of St. Dominique before Sunday service.

Muzina di Tata, E di Mwana

A young acolyte holds the cross of St. Dominique before Sunday service.

 Choir girls during rehearsal at the church of the Anuarite de Goma, North Kivu Province, Eastern DRC.

Choir girls during rehearsal at the church of the Anuarite de Goma, North Kivu Province, Eastern DRC.

 Choir girls practice at St. Augustin, Lemba, Kinshasa.

Choir girls practice at St. Augustin, Lemba, Kinshasa.

 The choir of the church of the Anuarite de Goma, North Kivu Province, Eastern DRC.

The choir of the church of the Anuarite de Goma, North Kivu Province, Eastern DRC.

 An acolyte waits with the ceremonial cross of the church of the Anuarite de Goma, North Kivu Province, Eastern DRC.

An acolyte waits with the ceremonial cross of the church of the Anuarite de Goma, North Kivu Province, Eastern DRC.

 Hortance Ponga stands in prayer at a service at the church of the Anuarite de Goma, North Kivu Province, Eastern DRC.

Hortance Ponga stands in prayer at a service at the church of the Anuarite de Goma, North Kivu Province, Eastern DRC.

 Abbé Ponde leads a prayer after service at St. Augustin, Lemba, Kinshasa. “ We must see the social conditions of the population change. We need a peaceful life, without trouble. We want people to live freely”.

Abbé Ponde leads a prayer after service at St. Augustin, Lemba, Kinshasa. “We must see the social conditions of the population change. We need a peaceful life, without trouble. We want people to live freely”.

 The congregation of the church of the Anuarite de Goma, North Kivu Province, Eastern DRC.

The congregation of the church of the Anuarite de Goma, North Kivu Province, Eastern DRC.

 Between Sunday services, the acolytes of Saint Dominique walk the parish grounds. Limete, Kinshasa.

Between Sunday services, the acolytes of Saint Dominique walk the parish grounds. Limete, Kinshasa.

 Silent prayer at the end of a Sunday service at the Anuarite de Goma church, North Kivu Province, Eastern DRC.

Silent prayer at the end of a Sunday service at the Anuarite de Goma church, North Kivu Province, Eastern DRC.

 Young acolytes hold the cross during a blessing from the priest of St. Augustin, Lemba, Kinshasa.

Young acolytes hold the cross during a blessing from the priest of St. Augustin, Lemba, Kinshasa.

 Sisters Agnes and Marie Kavira wait outside the Anuarite de Goma church, North Kivu Province, Eastern DRC.

Sisters Agnes and Marie Kavira wait outside the Anuarite de Goma church, North Kivu Province, Eastern DRC.

Rituals of Resistance
 Alarmed at the dire condition of life for their congregations, the priests of Congo have attempted to broker elections with the brutal regime. Many look to them and the rituals of the Church for guidance and assurance as Congo approaches a tipping point.
 Acolytes Kumu, Maleba and Booto hold the ceremonial cross of La Paroisse St. Benoit, Lemba, Kinshasa.
 Père Jean Nkongola, La Paroisse St. Dominique, Limete, Kinshasa.  “We want to see change. We know that an election can bring peace to the country”.
  Ngonga Ebeti, Tango Ekoki   A priest blesses acolytes and choirgirls after Sunday service at St. Benoit, Lemba, Kinshasa. The site of a recent shooting during anti-government protests.
 Worshipper Feza Mikombe at St. Francois de la Salle, Kitambo, Kinshasa. A church heavily involved in political activism that organised street protests in the name of peaceful elections.
 Père Julien Wato, St. Dominique, Limete, Kinshasa.
  Muzina di Tata, E di Mwana   A young acolyte holds the cross of St. Dominique before Sunday service.
 Choir girls during rehearsal at the church of the Anuarite de Goma, North Kivu Province, Eastern DRC.
 Choir girls practice at St. Augustin, Lemba, Kinshasa.
 The choir of the church of the Anuarite de Goma, North Kivu Province, Eastern DRC.
 An acolyte waits with the ceremonial cross of the church of the Anuarite de Goma, North Kivu Province, Eastern DRC.
 Hortance Ponga stands in prayer at a service at the church of the Anuarite de Goma, North Kivu Province, Eastern DRC.
 Abbé Ponde leads a prayer after service at St. Augustin, Lemba, Kinshasa. “ We must see the social conditions of the population change. We need a peaceful life, without trouble. We want people to live freely”.
 The congregation of the church of the Anuarite de Goma, North Kivu Province, Eastern DRC.
 Between Sunday services, the acolytes of Saint Dominique walk the parish grounds. Limete, Kinshasa.
 Silent prayer at the end of a Sunday service at the Anuarite de Goma church, North Kivu Province, Eastern DRC.
 Young acolytes hold the cross during a blessing from the priest of St. Augustin, Lemba, Kinshasa.
 Sisters Agnes and Marie Kavira wait outside the Anuarite de Goma church, North Kivu Province, Eastern DRC.
Rituals of Resistance

Waves of militia violence and grinding poverty blight the Democratic Republic of Congo as the President refuses to step aside; in this chaos, Catholic priests have emerged as unlikely political dissidents.

Alarmed at the dire condition of life for their congregations, the priests of Congo have attempted to broker elections with the brutal regime. Many look to them and the rituals of the Church for guidance and assurance as Congo approaches a tipping point.

Acolytes Kumu, Maleba and Booto hold the ceremonial cross of La Paroisse St. Benoit, Lemba, Kinshasa.

Père Jean Nkongola, La Paroisse St. Dominique, Limete, Kinshasa. “We want to see change. We know that an election can bring peace to the country”.

Ngonga Ebeti, Tango Ekoki

A priest blesses acolytes and choirgirls after Sunday service at St. Benoit, Lemba, Kinshasa. The site of a recent shooting during anti-government protests.

Worshipper Feza Mikombe at St. Francois de la Salle, Kitambo, Kinshasa. A church heavily involved in political activism that organised street protests in the name of peaceful elections.

Père Julien Wato, St. Dominique, Limete, Kinshasa.

Muzina di Tata, E di Mwana

A young acolyte holds the cross of St. Dominique before Sunday service.

Choir girls during rehearsal at the church of the Anuarite de Goma, North Kivu Province, Eastern DRC.

Choir girls practice at St. Augustin, Lemba, Kinshasa.

The choir of the church of the Anuarite de Goma, North Kivu Province, Eastern DRC.

An acolyte waits with the ceremonial cross of the church of the Anuarite de Goma, North Kivu Province, Eastern DRC.

Hortance Ponga stands in prayer at a service at the church of the Anuarite de Goma, North Kivu Province, Eastern DRC.

Abbé Ponde leads a prayer after service at St. Augustin, Lemba, Kinshasa. “We must see the social conditions of the population change. We need a peaceful life, without trouble. We want people to live freely”.

The congregation of the church of the Anuarite de Goma, North Kivu Province, Eastern DRC.

Between Sunday services, the acolytes of Saint Dominique walk the parish grounds. Limete, Kinshasa.

Silent prayer at the end of a Sunday service at the Anuarite de Goma church, North Kivu Province, Eastern DRC.

Young acolytes hold the cross during a blessing from the priest of St. Augustin, Lemba, Kinshasa.

Sisters Agnes and Marie Kavira wait outside the Anuarite de Goma church, North Kivu Province, Eastern DRC.

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