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Congo Violence Creates New Humanitarian Crisis

Lynne Hybels issues passionate video plea.

Earlier today, an e-mail from National Association of Evangelicals president Leith Anderson called our attention to renewed conflict and an exacerbated humanitarian crisis in the North Kivu province of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (formerly Zaire).

The situation there "in dire need of our attention," wrote Anderson. "Violence has forced more than 250,000 to flee their homes in the last two months alone." In the past decade, approximately 5 million have died as a result of the violence.

Similar appeals have appeared from a variety of NGOs, including Mercy Corps and the International Rescue Committee.

Anderson's message focused on the resources provided by World Relief (a subsidiary of the National Association of Evangelicals and - full disclosure - the employer of Barbara Galli, wife of CT Senior Managing Editor Mark Galli). World Relief has posted a video appeal from Lynne Hybels, advocate for global engagement at Willow Creek Community Church, South Barrington, Illinois.

Anderson is urging evangelical churches to show Hybels's passionate video over the next few weeks and to encourage their members to respond to the crisis in the DRC.

Consider using World Relief's resources (http://community.wr.org/Page.aspx?pid=1274) to publicize the crisis in your church. There is even an downloadable full-color bulletin insert.

News junkies will want to visit the page where the International Rescue Committee posts regular news updates on the DRC conflict. Two IRC staff were the victims of armed attack in the past week, and a World Relief staff member was killed.

Past CT coverage of the DRC violence includes this 2006 extended report by African correspondent Isaac Phiri.

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