With image of a still from Twitter user @innobuchu’s video of evacuees (© @innobuchu)
Tens of thousands of people are risking assaults by armed groups as they evacuate the city of Goma, in the east of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), over fears of another volcanic eruption.

Father Arsene Masumbuko, rector of the Saint John Paul II Seminary in Buhimba, told Aid to the Church in Need that bandits could prey upon the evacuees fleeing after warnings that the Mount Nyiragongo volcano could erupt again.

Father Masumbuko said: “The first dilemma is whether to evacuate [the seminary] or not, but if we evacuate the next question is where to go and especially how to get there, because security outside of Goma is very fragile.
“There are armed groups that take advantage of this situation to attack and assault people.” 
Mount Nyiragongo, six miles from Goma, a lakeside city home to an estimated 670,000 people, erupted on Saturday (22nd May) killing 32 people and leaving thousands homeless, according to the UN.

Since then, there have been strong earthquakes causing Ndima Kongba, the military governor of North Kivu Province, to order the evacuation of nearly a third of the city’s residents after he said magma was detected underneath Goma and nearby Lake Kivu.

People are leaving the city by foot, ferry and car, with some carrying their possessions with them.

Father Masumbuko said: “The situation is chaotic. MONUSCO [the United Nations peacekeeping force] has already left and has left us alone.
Father Masumbuko finished with a renewed request for spiritual support: “I ask for prayers for the population of Goma and for our seminarians. We still don’t know if we will have to evacuate the seminary.”
For decades, the region in the east of the DRC, rich in natural resources, has suffered violent incursions by soldiers from the militant Allied Democratic Forces (ADF). In June 2019 ADF’s leader, Musa Baluku, pledged allegiance to Daesh (ISIS).
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Nigeria Appeal
Leah Sharibu – held by Boko Haram for 3 years
19th February 2021 marked Leah Sharibu’s third year in captivity.
When ACN (UK) met Mrs Rebecca Sharibu, Leah’s mother, she asked us to remember in our prayers Leah and all those being held captive by Boko Haram. Please pray for them all. Read more here.
Martyrs’ Walk - 
Sunday 27th June 2021
We invite you to join this year’s Martyrs’ Walk. We’ll pray for religious freedom in our world today and especially for our martyrs—past and present—as we visit the church yard of St Giles-in the-Field, remembering the sacrifices that so many Catholics have suffered down the centuries and looking to a future without religious persecution. Read more here.
ACN Holy Hour
Join us virtually on Wednesday 2nd June for a special Holy Hour, with Archbishop John Wilson of the Archdiocese of Southwark. Starting at 3pm. Read more here.
ACN Shop
Neither Bomb Nor Bullet
IIn the warzone that Nigeria has become, Archbishop Ben Kwashi has survived three assassination attempts. Islamist militants have vowed to turn Africa's most populous nation into a hard-line Islamic state. Their plan is to drive the Christian minority from the north by kidnapping, bombing and attacking churches. But holding that line against Boko Haram, and standing firm for the Gospel, is Ben Kwashi, the Anglican Archbishop of Jos. The challenge of his message – to live for the Gospel even in the face of terror – has never been so timely. Buy it here.
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