DR Congo is the country with the second-highest number of United Methodists, behind the United States.
DR. DAVID W. SCOTT
UM & Global
As someone who is dedicated to counteracting stereotypes Americans have about foreign countries, this piece is difficult to write. There are long-standing tropes of news coverage about Africa that portray the continent as just a series of wars, natural disasters, and poverty. It’s not. There are a lot of good things happening on the continent of Africa, including innovation, economic growth, and successful peace and reconciliation processes. Africans are engaging in their own mission and charity endeavors, as Monday’s post indicated.
At the same time, there are a number of serious problems facing one African country in particular: the Democratic Republic of Congo, DRC or the Congo for short. The DRC also happens to be the country with the second-highest number of United Methodists, behind the United States. If United Methodists from elsewhere are to understand our sisters and brothers in the Congo, then it’s important to move beyond vague and stereotyped notions of “problems in Africa” to a more specific understanding of the challenges the DRC faces and how those challenges impact the church.
This post summarizes several of the largest challenges facing the country, and a subsequent post will examine the perhaps surprising ways these challenges are affecting the UMC.