Communauté Mennonite au Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo

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Communauté Mennonites au Congo

Location

Democratic Republic of Congo

Date established

1911-Congo Inland Mission begins
1971-CMC became independent

Presiding officer

Adolphe Komuesa Kalunga, president

Church members

109,000

Number of District Congregations

157

History

The Communauté Mennonite au Congo traces its origins to 1911, when the first North American missionaries associated with the Congo Inland Mission arrived in Congo, during the period of Belgian rule. In subsequent years hundreds of missionaries were sent to oversee CIM’s eight mission stations, which were centers for education and health ministries. Congolese catechists and translators were primarily responsible for evangelism and church planting beyond the confines of the mission stations.

Rising dissatisfaction and frustration with the colonial system led to revolution and national independence in 1960. The missionaries, under pressure from authorities and fearing for their safety, left the Congo within a span of two weeks following independence on June 30. Although many in the church felt abandoned, it proved to be a formative period in developing Congolese leadership, as church members assumed new responsibilities. Even after the missionaries returned, Congolese continued to make decisions collaboratively with North American colleagues. The Communauté Mennonite au Congo became fully independent in 1971.

Expansion from the rural areas into the cities followed independence, leading to greater contact with Pentecostal and traditional renewal movements. Throughout these changes church planting and evangelism have remained central.[1]

Resources on AnabaptistWiki

Citations

  1. Joly Birakara Ilowa and Erik Kumedisa, “Mennonite Churches in Central Africa,” Anabaptist Songs in African Hearts: 45-94.