DRC: Abducted Sister is released

Daughters of the Resurrection walking in Bukavu (Image © ACN)
Daughters of the Resurrection walking in Bukavu (Image © ACN)

A nun who was kidnapped last week in the Democratic Republic of the Congo has been set free.

Her community, the Daughters of the Resurrection, told Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) that Sister Francine is traumatised but physically unharmed. They did not disclose more details.

Sister Francine was seized on Thursday 8th July after a visit to the market in Goma, the capital of North Kivu Province. A short time later, the kidnappers contacted local church representatives.

North Kivu and the other eastern provinces of DRC have suffered attacks from rebel militia groups and criminal gangs.

Regina Lynch, Director of Projects at ACN (International) said: “We are very pleased that Sister Francine is back safe and sound with her community.

“Unfortunately, we are finding that kidnappings, especially of priests and religious, have become a weapon and a means of pressure in numerous African countries.”

Pointing out that abductions have occurred across sub-Saharan Africa, Ms Lynch added: “Many priests and religious, such as Gloria Cecilia Narvaez in Mali, often go missing for years. Other church members do not survive the abductions.

“The kidnappers achieve their goal – to increase fear and terror among the population. This is a very worrying development.”

ACN supports a number of projects in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, including building rectories and churches, as well as priestly formation programmes.