Monday, May 08, 2006


Could there actually be a worse place than Darfur?

Welcome to the Congo.

How do you measure the horror in the Democratic Republic of Congo? Add up all of the American deaths in every single war we’ve fought in since 1776, including World War II and the Civil War (1,540,665). Now add to that the estimated deaths from the recent tsunami (169,752 confirmed dead, 127,294 missing). Next, add to that the estimated death toll in the conflict in Darfur (400,000). Then, add to that the victims of genocide in Rwanda, one of the most horrific slaughters of the 20th century (937,000).

Add all of the deaths together–and you still have a smaller number than the 3.5 million people who have died in the conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) since 1998. According to the United Nations Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo, 30,000 Congolese are dying every month from the after-effects of war (mostly from diseases that have flourished in the conflict’s wake), an estimated 1,000 people a day. Thirty-eight percent of the population suffers from malnutrition. Children as young as 7 have been recruited into rebel militia. An estimated 3.4 million of the country's 60 million people have been forced to flee their homes.

I've been tough on gay rights groups for turning a deaf ear to the systematic murder of homosexuals in the Middle East. Likewise, our country's religious leaders seem more concerned about two men getting married than the ritual genocide that continues unabated in Africa. I wonder what Jesus would say about that?

On the last day, Jesus will say to those on His right hand, "Come, enter the Kingdom. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was sick and you visited me." Then Jesus will turn to those on His left hand and say, "Depart from me because I was hungry and you did not feed me, I was thirsty and you did not give me to drink, I was sick and you did not visit me." These will ask Him, "When did we see You hungry, or thirsty or sick and did not come to Your help?" And Jesus will answer them, "Whatever you neglected to do unto one of these least of these, you neglected to do unto Me!"

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