During the Christmas Eve Mass, Cardinal Fridolin Ambongo, the Archbishop of Kinshasa, expressed deep concern on Sunday evening over what he described as a “gigantic disorder” in the general elections held on December 20 in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). In addition to celebrating Christmas Mass, the Archbishop also denounced the violence that marred the electoral process.
The Notre Dame Cathedral in Congo was filled with faithful attendees, creating an atmosphere of solemnity. A group of young majorettes formed a ceremonial procession. The cardinal, accompanied by several priests, proceeded towards the altar. When the Archbishop addressed the congregation, he deplored the conditions under which the December 20 elections were conducted. “Based on the information available to us, as your pastor, we have just witnessed what could be termed as a gigantic, organized, and planned disorder.”
Among those present, the Catholic residents of Kinshasa did not conceal their apprehension about the post-results period. Donatien, standing near a display of liturgical objects, expressed his concern, saying, “My great fear is that there may be protests, but so far, we are praying to the Lord that we may not experience unrest.” Deogratias added, “It is true that there has been too much disorder. However, as Christians, we continue to hope for a peaceful outcome, but we are genuinely afraid. We do not yet know what could happen in our country.”
The Catholic and Protestant churches are relying on reports from the 25,000 observers deployed by their joint mission to compile an independent tally of the votes. The goal is to ensure that the electoral commission has respected the voters’ choices.
On Sunday, the Congolese government spokesperson emphasized that legal challenges could only be pursued once the election results were officially announced. “We have been saying for two months that the opposition was preparing for contestation rather than the elections,” he stated in an interview. “We remain calm. There were indeed logistical difficulties. Now, I believe everyone should remain calm because, in the end, there will be a winner, which will be the Democratic Republic of Congo.” He further asserted that no public disturbances would be tolerated.