by Fr. John Dear, S.J.
Pax Christi USA Ambassador of Peace
Since 1996, warfare in the Democratic Republic of the Congo has killed 6 million people. Approximately 400,000 women are raped there each year. Most nations have given up on Congo. The U.S. has poured tons of money into Congo for development, but not toward a peace process. It’s hopeless, most think.
But not everyone has given up. Around the world, grass-roots movements are raising up astonishing, visionary leaders who point the way toward a new future of peace, and that’s true even in Congo.
Last week, I was thrilled to attend a reception honoring Congo’s leading voice for peace, Neema Namadamu. She ranks with Leymah Gbowee, the Nobel laureate from Liberia, and Mairead Maguire, the Nobel laureate from Belfast, Northern Ireland, two of our greatest living peacemakers. What an inspiration she is!
“The vision for my life is to create a new Congo,” Neema told us. “Women have to rise up and start leading.”…