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Pope Francis visits Congolese victims

Pope Francis meets with a victim of violence in eastern Congo, at the Apostolic Nunciature in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo, Wednesday. Associated Press/Photo by Gregorio Borgia

Pope Francis visits Congolese victims

Pope Francis urged displaced Congolese on Wednesday to forgive rebel groups in eastern Congo for committing violence against them. At the Vatican Embassy, victims from the east told their stories to the pope before he blessed them. The pope had planned to visit eastern Congo after touring Kinshasa, the capital, but canceled his plans due to ongoing battles between government troops and a rebel group.

What are the details of the conflict? Since the 1990s, rebel groups have vied to control the mineral-rich territory in eastern Congo. The conflict has displaced more than 5 million Congolese, according to the World Food Program. About half the Congolese are Roman Catholic, which makes Congo the most Catholic country in Africa. Pope Francis calls the violence a forgotten genocide.

Dig deeper: Read more about the unrest in eastern Congo from Onize Ohikere.

Elias Ferenczy

Elias Ferenczy is a breaking news intern for WORLD. He’s a graduate of WORLD Journalism Institute and Covenant College.

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