Attack on Anglican university in Congo

An Anglican university has found itself caught up in the conflict in Congo.

It is the first time that the Université Anglicane du Congo has experienced an attack since opening its doors in Bunia two years ago.

The university was targeted despite being 250 miles north of the main fighting in Goma.

An armed group forced their way into the home of the university's vice chancellor, the Reverend Canon Daniel Sabiti Tibafa, in the early hours of 22 December.

The attackers demanded money and beat Professor Sabiti, who was in the house with his family, including his two sons, at the time.

"All of us would have lost our lives was it not the mercy of God on us. Praise be to Him," he said.

"In spite of this incident, the university is still doing its work."

The student body at the university numbers around 70, with 11 due to graduate from the theology faculty this year.

The UK Congo Church Association is sponsoring the construction of four new lecture rooms and an internet classroom was recently opened with financial support from Trinity Church Wall Street, in the US.

General Secretary of the Colleges and Universities of the Anglican Communion, the Reverend Canon James Callaway, said: "The Anglican University has been a force for knitting community back together after the years of conflict in Congo, bringing together former victims and men who were drawn into the militias.

"As such it has been a vital force for peace, which now more than ever needs our support to continue."

Although the conflict has not yet spread to Bunia, homes are already being hit by night killings and lootings.

"We are really very sad about what is happening in and in the surrounding of Goma City in the North-Kivu Province. Please pray for our country and especially in this eastern part of the country," said Professor Sabiti.

"We need peace and freedom to work and to enjoy the wealth that our dear Father gave us here in our country, unfortunately smuggled by the outside."

He added: "Please pray for us as usual, because the Evil One never stops to haunt us with his bitter arrows of affliction."