Pope Francis in DRC

Papal visit to the DR Congo – ‘It’s the first time in decades’. Image: DW

Pope Francis visit to the DRC

‘The pope will bring us peace’; Many citizens in the Democratic Republic of Congo pin their hopes on Pope Francis.

Pope Francis in DRC

Papal visit to the DR Congo – ‘It’s the first time in decades’. Image: DW

Pope Francis has touched in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) as part of a six-day visit to the African continent.

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This is the first time that a pope has visited the DRC since Pope John Paul II in 1985. He demanded an end to what he called “economic colonialism” in Africa.

“Stop choking Africa: It is not a mine to be stripped or a terrain to be plundered,” the Catholic pontiff said in an address at the presidential palace in the country’s capital, Kinshasa.

He said that a history of political exploitation gave way to an ‘economic colonialism that was equally enslaving.’

Half of the DRC’s population which is 90 million strong is Roman Catholic.


Like Pope John Paul II, Pope Francis’ visit is intended to highlight the devastating effects of decades of conflict in the country. It has led to the replacement of millions of people and poverty.

While the papal plane flew over the Sahara, he held a prayer for “all the people who, searching for a little well-being, a bit of freedom, crossed the desert and didn’t make it.”

Pope Francis will also visit South Sudan.

ALSO READ: Pope Francis slams ‘brutal atrocities’ in DR Congo


Even with the intense heat thousand of people streamed into the venue. At 6:00, many of the chairs had already been taken and people were sitting on the ground.

Many citizens gathered to pray for peace in the country.

An excited crowd gathered along the route the pope was due to take in Kinshasa. Image: DW

“The war will stop… thanks to the pope’s prayer,” said Eulalie Nzinga, 63, who got up at 4:00 to make sure of a space at the airport in the capital Kinshasa, where up to a million people are tipped to attend the mass.

The pope first spoke of his hopes of visiting the majority Christian country in 2017. The visit was prevented by security fears.

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“May it be the right time for you, who in this country call yourself a Christian but commit violence,” Francis said. “To you the Lord says, ‘Put down your arms and embrace mercy.’”