A Catholic nun was among seven people killed after a group of Islamic extremists raided Maboya village Wednesday night.
International Christian Concern (ICC) reports the midnight terror attack by the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), a Congolese Islamic rebel group, targeted the Maboya Mission Hospital, a Catholic hospital in Maboya. The ADF militants allegedly murdered several patients and one staff member. After stealing drugs and medical equipment, they set the hospital on fire.
"Our town was attacked at night, and we can confirm that six people have been killed," an Anglican pastor in Maboya told ICC. "When we heard the shooting at the hospital, we ran away and spent the rest of the night hiding in the bush. We came out in the morning only to find that sister Sylvie Kalima, the nun on duty, was killed and her body burned down. The other six were inpatients."
Several people from shops and who live in houses close to the hospital, including two Catholic nuns, have been reported missing. Authorities believe they may have been kidnapped by the militants.
Sister Sylvie Kalima's family confirmed to the ICC that her charred remains were retrieved from the hospital room where she was working.
The ADF militia has heightened attacks on villages and towns since early October in its push to Islamize the Christian-majority Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), according to the ICC.
Twenty Christians were reported killed in Kainama, Nord-Kivu, on Oct 4. There have also been daily reports of ADF attacks in Nord-Kivu and Ituri provinces, the persecution watchdog reported.
The Maboya attack came just one day after the Catholic Parish of Mbau held a prayer and thanksgiving mass to mark 10 years since three of their priests – Edmond, Jean Pierre, and Anselm – were kidnapped by ADF rebels on Oct. 19, 2012, never to return.
The Catholic Diocese of Butembo-Beni has promised to erect a monument in Mbau in memory of the priests.
The presiding priest gave a message of comfort to the Christians of Mbau and the church in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
"I know it has not been easy being a follower of Christ in Eastern Congo," the priest said. We have lost thousands of believers through terrorism and persecution but let us not give up on God and neglect prayer. I urge all of us to persevere in prayer so that this persecution comes to an end."
As CBN News reported, Islamic terrorists continue to launch violent attacks against civilians in the DRC. In June, more than 10 Christians were killed when extremists ambushed their three vehicles near the village of Makisabo, Beni. The ADF allegedly blocked the Beni-Kasindi Road, shot all the passengers, and set the vehicles on fire.
The DRC is ranked 40th on the Open Doors World Watch List 2022 of countries where Christians suffer the most persecution.