Saturday, February 17, 2007

DRC Journal: Entry 5

Abused at home she had run away as a young teen only to find prostitution as her only means of survival. Now rescued off of the unforgiving streets of Kinshasa in a home where she is learning how to sew and how to deal with the stark reality that she is HIV+, Janine hopes to help other young girls like her have a chance at life.

It is estimated that there are at least 50,000 others like her on Kinshasa’s streets…Thrown away children, lost and forgotten.

There is a growing movement in some fundamentalist churches here wielding a distorted, fear-based religion that makes mass accusations of witchcraft and sorcery. It’s followers are encouraged to indiscriminately banish people and things from their homes that might be “unclean”. Children have been targeted in the hysteria…and once again the innocents suffer.

There are churches here that truly aim to follow Jesus’ example and are reaching out to these “witch-hunt refugees”, but the street kids are understandably hesitant to once again put their trust in an institution that has so deeply wounded and betrayed them.

How is it that a religion that is supposed to be based on love and the sanctity of life can be responsible for so much suffering?

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