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Advocacy Focus: Congo Week and the Crisis over Conflict Minerals

Help push for peace between the Congo and Rwanda  Take Action!

 Breaking the Silence: Congo Week

Congo Week 2014 is October 19-25, 2014
“Breaking the Silence: Congo Week” is an opportunity to raise awareness about the devastating situation in the Congo and mobilize support on behalf of the people of the Congo
Paul wrote in I Corinthian 12:26, "If one member suffers, all suffer together with it; if one member is honored, all rejoice together with it." Global Ministries, as a member of the Body of Christ, suffers today because of injustice and exploitation of our sisters and brothers in the Democratic Republic of Congo. We are committed as members of the Body of Christ to break the silence, stop the pillaging, promote justice, defend women and children, protect the environment and support Congo. Plan your event—or an event every day of Congo Week—to learn about, reflect in worship, and together prepare to speak prophetically to leaders around the world to make a real difference in their policies concerning the Congo.

The Cell Out 
“The Cell Out” is a cell phone usage boycott held from Noon - 1pm on the Wednesday of every annual Congo Week. It is designed to call attention to the violent conflict over rare natural resources such as the coltan in our cell phones. Armed groups in the Congo fight over the mining of precious minerals, and the international sale of these minerals helps finance the continuing conflict in the region.

Facts about Coltan
In August 2012 the US Securities and Exchange Commission approved new rules requiring companies to verify that the minerals used in their products are “conflict-free” – meaning they don’t help finance the ongoing violence in places like the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
“SEC adopts rules on 'conflict minerals' vital to manufacturing,” LA Times, Aug. 22, 2012
“Investors Welcome New SEC Rule Addressing Conflict Minerals in Supply Chains,” Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility, Aug. 23, 2012

 Worship Resources for Congo Week Service

Worship Resources for Congo Week

 Resources for Congo Week

Congo Week Website
2011 UCC General Synod Resolution “A Call for Reflection and Advocacy on Behalf of the Democratic Republic of the Congo”
2011 Disciples General Assembly Resolution “A Call for Reflection and Advocacy on Behalf of the Democratic Republic of the Congo” 
Videos from the Global Ministries Congo Symposium, May 21-22, 2010
Declaration from the Global Ministries Congo Symposium, May 21-22, 2010 
Congo Fact Sheet
Talking Themes on the Congo
Congo Reading List
2008 Congo Week Worship Resource
Disciples “Journey to Congo” Curriculum
“I am Congo: Faith Leads to Hope” Videos and Discussion Guide from Sojourners

Disciples of Christ and United Church of Christ congregations planning Congo Week activities

First Christian Church, Fayetteville, AR
     Global Ministries story on FCC’s Congo Week preparations
Friedens UCC, Indianapolis, IN
     Global Ministries story on Hope: An Art Exhibit an Fundraiser for Frieden’s Congo Week

Contact us if you have activities planned you would like us to highlight.

 Resource and News Archive

The M23 and the Crisis in Goma
The Religious Institute resources for holding a “Congo Sabbath” to help end violence against women in the DRC
Sharon Watkins adds her voice to "Break the Silence" for the DRC (2009)
Disciples “Journey to Congo” Curriculum
2009 Congo Week activities planned by First Christian Church, Fayetteville, Arkansas
UCC and Disciples leaders endorse “Break the Silence” (2008)

 Background

The Congo is the greatest humanitarian crisis in the world today where nearly 6 million people have died since 1996, half of them children under 5 yrs old and hundreds of thousands of women have been raped all as a result of the scramble for Congo's wealth. The United Nations said it is the deadliest conflict in the world since World War II.

The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is the most mineral resource rich country in the world; yet, 80% of the population survives on $.30 a day and 75% of the population is undernourished according to the UN. Further, there are an estimated 1.3 million displaced Congolese, and estimated 1.1 million are living with HIV/AIDS, and close to two-thirds of the population cannot afford conventional health care.  The Congolese live in these dire conditions because DRC is entangled in war over a natural resource, coltan, which has resulted in the death of over 5.4 million to date.  This is the deadliest war since Adolf Hitler's armies marched across Europe and has been dismissed as an internal African implosion. In reality it is a battle for coltan, diamonds, cassiterite and gold, destined for sale in London, New York and Paris - the metals that make our technological society vibrate and ring and bling. In addition to high death rates, the war has lead to the use of child soldiers, child slavery in mines, a rise in HIV/AIDS, the mass displacement of peoples, and the widespread use of rape as a weapon of war. In one province alone, the United Nations has estimated that 45,000 women were raped in the last year.

 Global Ministries Projects in the Congo

 

 Congo News


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