From the Congolese American Foundation: "In the course of his work, the first African American missionary in Congo, Rev William Henry Sheppard of Waynesboro Virginia, joined his faith to his courage to denounce the atrocities committed by King Leopold II of Belgium in his newly acquired property. Indeed, from 1885 to 1908, stirred by a zealous desire to massively exploit 'The Bloody Rubber,' King Leopold used harsh practices that led to the first untold colonial genocide. Thanks to the actions of missionaries like Rev William Sheppard, Lapsley and William Morrison, that horrendous genocide was stopped after claiming the lives of more than 10 million Congolese. Coincidentally, the rush to plunder Coltan and many other minerals in Congo since 1996 has led to crimes against humanity of the same proportion as during King Leopold II era. A U.N report released on October! 2010 notes that the “crimes committed in Congo can be characterized as genocide”. Astonishingly, from Beni to the Kasai numerous mass graves continue to be discovered much to the chagrin of hopeless fellow Congolese Christians. As Christians, should we really remain silent in face of such degrading, dehumanizing and humiliating atrocities? Shouldn’t our faith and our moral conscience compel us to take action and advocate for peace and democracy in Congo as clearly stipulated in the DRC Relief, Security and Democracy Promotion Act of 2006?"
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