Catholic Church at centre of major political events in Congo
APA - Brazzaville (Congo)
The Catholic Church has been playing a leading political role in Congo since independence in 1960.
The first president of Congo was a churchman, Abbot Fulbert Youlou (1960 - 1963).
The Church continued to influence national politics even at the height of the scientific socialism rule (1969-1991) led by Denis Sassou Nguesso.
This was the case during the 1977 events that led to the deaths of President Marien Ngouabi and Cardinal Emile Biyenda. Biyenda was an innocent victim in this case as he just wanted to bring to the table of negotiations the protagonists that tore each other to pieces.
The Church has been at the centre of the National Sovereign Conference held between February and June 1991 in Brazzaville, the capital, with the participation of all social strata.
Chaired by Bishop Ernest Kombo, then Bishop of Owando, this assembly led to the restoration of democracy in the country.
The Church has been playing its standby role since then.
Thus, in view of the July 2009 presidential election, the Episcopal Conference of Congo met on 2 February and issued a statement of peace and hope titled "Do not be afraid."
Today, 91.2% of the 3.5 million Congolese people are Christians, 1.3% are Muslim and 2.7% for other religions, revealed statistics provided by Abbot Yombo, a historian at the Episcopal Conference of the Catholic Church of Congo.