Woman walking on the road

The Nyiragongo Volcano looms above the eastern Congo city of Goma.


They also reaffirmed “the fundamental principles enshrined in the United Nations Charter and Constitutive Act of the African Union.”

Determined to build on “the principles of peace and dialogue found in the Holy Scriptures,” the statement also notes that “people in all their diversities are created in the image of God.”

The religious leaders express particular concern about the “loss of life and property that has been brought about by the conflict, including the increase in the refugee crisis, tribal and national sentiments, xenophobic tendencies” which they believe could result in genocide.

The statement calls upon all those caught up in the conflict to use dialogue as a means to resolve their grievances.

While acknowledging the strains and pressures that the refugee host countries and communities may be going through, the religious leaders “encourage them in the spirit of good neighborliness to provide a conducive environment for their brothers and sisters who are running for their lives.”

The statement also calls upon “the international community to reach out with humanitarian assistance to those that have been affected by this conflict and the countries where they have settled.”

Statement on the conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo by religious leaders in eastern Africa