The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is located in central Africa, bordered to the north by the Central African Republic and South Sudan, to the east by Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, and Tanzania, to the south by Zambia and Angola, to the west by the Republic of the Congo, and to the Southwest by the Atlantic Ocean.
Area and Population
The total area of the Democratic Republic of the Congo is 2,345,409 km2. It is, by area, the second-largest country in all of Africa, and the 11th-largest in the world.
With a population of 78,736,153 according to 2016 estimates, the Democratic Republic of the Congo is the fourth-most-populated country in Africa, and the 17th-most-populated country in the world. Its capital is Kinshasa.
The Democratic Republic of the Congo is also known as Congo-Kinshasa, in reference to its capital, not to be confused with the neighboring Republic of the Congo which is known as Congo-Brazzaville.
Over 200 ethnic groups populate the Democratic Republic of the Congo, of which the majority are Bantu peoples. Together, Mongo, Luba and Kongo peoples (Bantu) and Mangbetu-Azande peoples constitute around 45% of the population. The Kongo people are the largest ethnic group in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
French is the official languages. Other recognized national languages include Lingala (the commercial language in Africa), Kingala (Swahili), Kikongo, and Tshiluba.
The Congolese franc serves as the primary form of currency in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
As for religion in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the population is divided as follows: Christians (Catholics 50%, Protestants 20%), Kimbanguism – an indigenous religion – 10%, while Muslims make up 10%. Followers of other sects and primitive beliefs form about 10% of the population.
The natural areas of the Democratic Republic of the Congo are divided into three types:
1 ـ The Tropical Rainforest Areas: Tropical rainforests in the DRC are areas in the northern part of the republic covered with dense vegetation including an amazing variety of trees and plants, with hot and humid weather throughout the year. Only a small number of people live in these areas due to the harsh weather conditions. These tropical rainforests represent one of the world’s largest and most densely forested areas.
2 ـ The Savannah Areas: The Savannah areas are mostly covered with different types of weeds. There are also small scattered groups of trees, as well as forests in some valleys. Savannah covers a large part of the southern DRC.
3 ـ The Highland Areas: The highlands are composed of hills and mountains and lie on the eastern and south-eastern borders of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. This region includes Margarita, the highest point in the DRC, which rises to 5109 m above sea level as well as the Congo River which is the fifth longest river in the world, with a length of 4667 Km.
The Congo has a tropical climate which is characterized by being hot and humid in the tropical Congo basin area, cold and dry in the southern highlands, and cold and rainy in the eastern highlands. As a result of its equatorial location, the DRC experiences high temperatures most of the year and high precipitation ratios. The months of May, June, and August form the dry season.
Form of Government:
The Constitution of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) states that the system of government is presidential and gives the president almost full control over the government. The president further issues all important political decisions and appoints officials who run the government. The President is elected for a term of five years. Although the law does not permit the president to stay for more than two terms, the late President Mobutu Sese Seko has held this post since 1965 until his exile to Morocco in July 1997, depending on a special text in the Constitution that allows him to rule for an unlimited period.The country is currently divided into the city-province of Kinshasa and 10 other provinces. The provinces are subdivided into 30 districts which are divided further into 150 territories. Each of these administrative local units is run by a governor and his deputy – both are appointed by the president. In their turn, these units are subdivided into smaller units called communities. The heads of tribes are entitled to ensure security and order.
The Supreme Court is the highest judicial authority because it decides on the appeals raised from lower courts. The president of the republic appoints the members of the Supreme Court. In addition, there are three other courts of appeal and several sub-courts (lower or partial) courts.
The Portuguese arrived at the Congo in 1482, and they were the first to settle the Congo Delta. They held diplomatic ties with the Kongo Kingdom, and organized visits from the Congo to Portugal. Eventually, the Kongo Kingdom embraced Catholics as its official religion and appointed many of its citizens as Catholic priests. Belgian exploration and administration were launched in 1875 under the sponsorship of King Leopold II of Belgium. Belgium established missionaries and scientific and commercial stations to impose its control over these areas and their surroundings for their economic importance. The Republic of the Congo achieved independence on 30 June 1960.
Since 1994, the Democratic Republic of the Congo fell in conflicts and civil war. It was drastically influenced by the great number of refugees who fled from the fighting in Rwanda and Burundi. In 1997, the government of former president Sese Seko Mobutu was overthrown by Laurent-Désiré Kabila. However, no soon the latter’s rule was subject to a rebellion led by Rwanda and Uganda in 1998. Militaries from Angola, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Chad, and Sudan interfered on the side of the government. A cease-fire was achieved on July 10, 1999 except for sporadic skirmishes. Kabila was assassinated in 2001. His son Joseph Kabila succeeded him and called for multilateral peace-talks.
The Democratic Republic of Congo is widely considered one of the world’s richest countries in natural resources; however, its economy has declined drastically since the mid-1980s. Foreign businesses also have been curtailed.
The Democratic Republic of the Congo is the world’s largest producer of cobalt ore, and a major producer of copper, coffee, diamonds, and oil palm. It imports food products, petrol, textile, and manufactured goods, and it trades mainly with Western Europe, especially Belgium.
Kinshasa: This magnificent city is situated alongside the Congo River. It is the largest city in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Once a site of fishing and trading villages, it is now a megacity with an estimated population of more than 11 million. This enchanting civilized site is the ideal place to get introduced to the lifestyle in the Congo. The main landmarks in the city include:
Livingstone Falls: This series of rapids is one of the most enchanting natural sites in this city that lies at the Congo River side.
Lola ya Bonobo (The Paradise of Bonobos): This park is the world’s only sanctuary for the orphaned endangered bonobo monkey settlement.
The Congo River: The Congo River is the second largest river in Africa, and one of the most popular touristic destinations which is very frequently visited by tourists, thanks to its natural majesty. The Congo River is also an essential source of hydro-electricity.
Kinshasa National Museum: The museum comprises about 45000 antique pieces and items.
Virunga National Park: It is the oldest park of its kind in Africa, and it is listed in the List of World Heritage in Danger.
Mount Nyiragongo: This active strato volcano is one of the most attractive touristic landmarks visited by thousands of tourists who can take pictures besides the red lava. The volcano is located inside Virunga National Park. The main crater usually contains a lava lake, and it presently has two distinct cooled lava benches.
Salonga National Park: Tourists continually visit the park and thus keep it heavily crowded. This park is one of the reasons for the increase of tourists’ rate too. The park includes various kinds of wild animals such as monkeys, elephants, and giraffes besides endangered animals which the park administration plays a strong role in their conservation.
History of Islam in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
Islam is the first divine religion to be known in the region before the arrival of Christian missionaries who conquered the area masked as exploration movements. Until the 19th Century, the area remained one of the neglected places in the path of Portuguese and Dutch journeys moving towards India. In 1850, the region started to catch the interest of the explorations made in search of wealth.
Until before the Belgian colonialism, Islam was the ruler over that area for long years. One of the famous Muslim rulers was Hamad bin Muhammad bin Jamaa bin Rajab el Murjebi who governed vast territories of the Congo until colonialism set its foot on that area and seized it. Arab Muslims had a great role in the promulgation of Islam. Islam reached the Congo from the west via the migration of some Muslims from Nigeria, Mali, Senegal, and West African countries, and from the north via Sudan and it spread among Zande tribes. Islam reached the area from the east when the sultanate of Zanzibar expanded, and Muslims moved from the shore inwards and founded centers for them and contributed to the spread of Islam among the people there via their good morals and kind relationships with African citizens.
Islam spread by Arab traders who came to the Congo for commercial reasons. Many citizens embraced Islam especially in the areas to the east of the Congo (Goma – Manimama). Mosques were built and the Islamic system was established among the citizens. Even in the field of justice, there were courts for Muslims and others for non-Muslims.
Muslim traders moved northwards and eastwards, and they paved the way for the return of their caravans towards Mombasa on the eastern coast of Africa. The Islamic Call witnessed such an activity during the 13th Century AH.
In 1277 AH, Muslims founded an Islamic Center, and the Islamic Call was launched in the town Ntangwe near the city of Kasongo on the Congo River; thus two Muslim cities were founded and became a main center for the Islamic Call.
Islam further spread among Congolese neighbouring these Islamic centers in the jungles of Central Africa, and the Islamic Call movement became more fervent between the years 1277 and 1287 AH. This coincided with the beginning of the establishment of the Islamic kingdom in central and east Congo on the hands of Hamad bin Mohamed bin Jomaa Al Marjabi (1837 – 1905), who was named by the Africans “Tippu Tip”, after the “tiptip” sound that his guards’ guns gave off.
At the age of 20, Hamad bin Jomaa moved to the Congo in 1277 AD, and made several expeditions into its interior until he reached Batitla region between Lualaba and Lomami Rivers, where he made an agreement with the Congolese leader in 1289 AH pursuant to which the latter recognized Hamad bin Jomaa as the Sultan over the area. Afterwards Hamad bin Jomaa moved to the north where two rulers in northeast of Congo submitted to him – namely Obeid bin Salem and Ugomba. Then he moved southwards and expanded his power over an area 60 miles to the south of Kasongo.
In 1876 AD, European explorer Henry Stanley arrived in the Congo, and Ahmad bin Jomaa helped him in exploring the Congo River. As such, the Belgian influence found its way to the Congo in an attempt to colonize it. Stanley made an agreement with bin Jomaa in 1887 AD pursuant to which the Belgian authorities recognized his rule over the Congolese territories he controlled. His reign over the Bantella and Bakusu peoples in Central Congo lasted until the Belgians toppled his reign. He returned to Zanzibar and remained there until his death in 1905 AD, 1323 AH.
Until the last quarter of the 19th century, a large part of the Congo believed in Islam and was governed by the Islamic Caliphate. The evidence is that when the Belgian representative (Livingstone) reached the area and found Muslims there more in order, he demanded to negotiate with them so as to enter the Congo through the more orderly, stable and secure part.
Missionaries found their way to there and exploited many massive means to greatly influence the peoples of the area which witnessed the establishment of the first cathedral in the region. No soon, Christianity spread due to the much support it gave via building churches, schools, hospitals, cultural centers, clubs, and universities among other institutions.
In fact, the Belgian colonization fiercely fought the Islamic presence in the area under the pretext that some Muslims participated in slave trade, and the war against Islam was represented in preventing Muslims from building mosques and penalizing establishing Quranic schools. This resulted in weakening the influence of Muslims what explains Muslims being among the first national forces to back the independence leader Patrice Lumumba.
The Belgian colonization cultivated extreme hatred against Islam and Muslims especially in Kasongo where Muslims were persecuted, tortured, imprisoned, banished, and killed, and the most evident proof is the colonial genocide committed on April 2, 1893 AD when about 45 thousand Muslims were killed1.
Muslims in the Democratic Republic of the Congo:
Around 10% of the national population in the Democratic Republic of the Congo identifies as Muslim. Islam is particularly prominent in the east of the country as well as the capital Kinshasa, Makatu, Kasai, Lubumbashi, and Bunia. Following Kinshasa, Goma is one of the areas with a main concentration of Muslims where their number is about 45,000, and there are some 30 mosques in this city.
Though according to its constitution, the Democratic Republic of the Congo is secular, it is biased against Muslims and the followers of other religions. In fact, it marginalizes Muslims and fights them even though the constitution acknowledges them. The government issues many decisions and policies that conflict with their interests. This is due to the fact that the ruling elite is 95% Christian Catholics, what grants the Catholic Church vast influences and great privileges, besides it having networks in all domains, and consequently, the government practices much pressure, causes much discomfort to Muslims, prevents them from practicing some of their activities, and hinders them from holding some of the Islamic religious rituals, especially sharing massively in collective prayers.
It is noticed that those who embraced Islam are greater in number than those who were born as Muslims. Still, most estimates point that the number of Muslims decreased to the half. Their number was about 20 million on the eve of the independence of the DRC in the early 60s of the past century; now their number is about 9.6 million.
This is due to the following reasons2:
1 – The colonial policies linked academic education to being Christian: The Belgian king deprived Muslims and their children of education unless the parents became Christians; the repercussions of this deprivation are still sensed to our very day. Today, 80% of the Congolese Muslims are illiterate, and this has negatively affected their social status, their participation in the public sector, and their suffering to earn a decent living. In fact, 90% of them are unemployed.
2 – The imposition of war and fighting: This is the case especially in the areas where Muslims are concentrated, what resulted in the death and displacement of many of them, and the disintegration of many Muslim families.
The Christian missionary movement dominates all infrastructure and activities in the country (political, economic, cultural and educational), and that is made clear through the following3:
- Politically, it controls making decisions and setting policies and exploits them to fight Muslims. Islam was only recognized as a religion in Congo long after independence in 1972 by President Mobutu Sese Seko).
- Educationally, it links education to the church and employs its curricula to impose the Christian faith and ideas, and deprives Muslims of receiving education, besides practicing restrictions on their private education.
- On the level of the media, the church dominates the media and its means: There are more than 150 television and radio channels for missionary movements; whereas Muslims do not have any means to spread their Call.
The church further opened the door to voluntary missionary organizations, especially Western relief organizations which are spread among Muslim societies so as to contribute to the conversion of Muslims and the dissemination of concepts contrary to Islam among them.
The church, moreover, limited the activity of Muslim traders. It had focused on inaugurating commercial and agricultural activities, and for this aim it set projects based on missionaries with the aim of training new Christians and making use of them to stand against Muslim traders. This is made more evident by the statement made by the church-affiliated organization (Caritas) in which it is made clear that it supplies the target farmers with seeds and fertilizers to overcome unemployment, and help newcomers to open projects, such as bakeries, workshops and others.
It is also noticed that the church, especially the Catholic Church, resorts to offering many services in the fields of health, education and relief. It owns thousands of schools and hospitals, dozens of universities and theology colleges, as well as several health centers, hospices and centers for the disabled. It also owns youth and training organizations, women clubs, technical institutes, and specialized training camps and centers in many areas4.
These missionary efforts led to the conversion of nearly 75% of the Congolese into Christianity.
Muslim youth organized tours in the streets of Goma, in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, with the aim of meeting citizens and introducing them to Islam and its values. This comes in the framework of a wide awareness campaign led by the Muslims of North Kivu Province to introduce the true religion and the values of “Peace in Islam”.
In this perspective, Sheikh Masoudi Kadugu, President of North Kivu Muslims says: “This youth initiative is aimed at introducing Islam to the local population,” – the overwhelming majority of whom are Christians. He added: “The image of our religion of peace and tolerance has been shaken over the past period”.
On the feasibility of such initiatives, Kadugu explained that “the peace campaign aims to undermine the crisis scenario and create an atmosphere of tranquillity in order to preserve the values of coexistence and unity”.
The initiative of the Muslim youth included awareness seminars on Islam and the fight against terrorism, as well as the organization of interreligious seminars between Christians and Muslims and interpositions in radio and television programs.
The young Muslims who were “deeply involved” in this campaign did not hesitate to take to the streets to meet Christians, as well as knocking the doors of the inhabitants and talking about their religion which calls for peace.
A number of imams are also active in this initiative. They seek to highlight the peaceful image of Islam through meetings and television programs.
As a result of this initiative, Marita Palom, a young Christian from Goma, said after attending a number of meetings that this “good” campaign should be expanded to reach as many people as possible – a goal unanimously agreed upon by the organizers of the campaign. Mustafa Kamal Musafery, a journalist with Kivu 1 Radio and Television Station in Goma, said in a radio program: “This initiative has taken Goma as a starting point and will expand towards the other six provinces in North Kivu province.”
The Holy Month of Ramadan:
The Holy Month of Ramadan in the Democratic Republic of the Congo is not similar to it in many Arab and Islamic countries because of the hard economic conditions the Muslims in the country suffer from. These hardships made this month different. No collective Iftar dinners are held in houses and no charitable meals are spread on streets around the various cities for Muslims there are extremely poor.
The Holy Month of Ramadan in terms of worship and rituals is the same anywhere in the world. However, in terms of living conditions, it is different for Muslims in diverse regions of a country that is one of the largest African states, leaving them living as minorities in the various provinces of the Congo.
In these difficult circumstances, some mosques and Islamic centers, with little support from some charities, seek to organize limited Iftar dinners for certain groups of the Muslim population, who can’t manage to prepare their own Iftar dinners, such as young Muslim newcomers from non-Muslim families. These new Muslims are unable to prepare their Iftar at home because their families are dissatisfied with their decision to convert to Islam. Moreover, these Islamic centers and mosques seek to give orphans the priority by offering them Iftar dinner whenever possible.
Furthermore, centers and mosques are increasingly frequented during this month. Dawa programs including seminars and preaches are organized, and they are sought as an opportunity to organize Iftar dinners. The need to support Muslims in the Congo through holding more Iftar dinners is growing so as to include the greatest number of Muslims.
Muslims’ Current Status and their role in Public Life:
First: The Educational and Cultural Aspects:
The policy of Belgian colonialism deprived Muslim children of education, which later contributed to depriving them of an active role in the various spheres of life and of participating in administration of their country’s affairs. This is the result of their backwardness in the field of education. In fact, those who have university degrees can be counted on one hand. Muslims do not have universities or even high institutions, and 90% of Muslims are illiterate because of being fought against and because of their poverty. Most of them find it difficult to provide $ 50 to $ 100 to enroll their children in school.
The Islamic education in the Congo is in a state of confusion in terms of the curricula, educational levels, and teachers. It is in need of development, and the teachers are from Mali, Senegal and Chad. Islamic education is practiced in the form of Quranic schools attached to mosques and Islamic centers in most of the cities such as Lwambo and Pointe Noire where an Islamic Center was established by Muslim efforts.
As for the scientific, cultural, and Dawa activities, the absence of religious authorities and abundant copies of the Holy Quran is noticed, resulting in religious illiteracy of Muslims, and the lack of qualified preachers. The authority rejects all invitations for the participation of Muslims in any foreign conferences or forums, what cripples the development of their relations with their Muslim brethrens in the Islamic world, and their receiving aids to establish mosques, educational institutions, activating the Dawa, and the establishment of Islamic institutions, besides sending Muslim students to Islamic universities abroad. The state also refuses to participate in organizing the Hajj affairs and in providing any assistance to the Congolese pilgrims, at the pretext that this is contrary to the secular system adopted of the state.
Second: Political Participation:
Muslims are represented by only five of the total 500 members of parliament, and there is only one Muslim in the post of Vice Minister. Muslims have no word in the evoked issues, and they are far from the circle of political influence. They suffer absolute marginalization, and the Muslims of the Congo constitute a majority in only six political parties, out of a total of 400 parties at the level of the state.
Third: The Economic Level:
The participation of Muslims in the development of the country is minor. With the support and capacities it receives, the Church dominates the country’s development and infrastructure projects. Although Muslims from India, Pakistan, Nigeria, Mali, Senegal and Guinea sought to control economic projects especially in the period from 1960 to 1997, Muslims in the Congo are still weak and poor.
Fourth: The Social Level:
Muslims do not have any main social edifices. They do not have hospitals, health centers, elderly homes or shelters. There is a lack of facilities and services they need.
In the capital, Kinshasa, the largest city, there are only two mosques. The rest are small praying rooms with a capacity of no more than 150 people. In the region of Maniema, the mosque built by the Arabs in the region of kindu when they introduced Islam into the Congo in 1800 AD had been turned into a church. In fact, Muslims are not allowed to build a mosque in military barracks, prisons, or hospitals, and they are unable to repair their mosques when ruined or destroyed.
As for Islamic occasions, Muslims are not allowed to take a day off on holidays, and if a Muslim is absent from work, he is punished and held accountable.
Besides igniting wars in the areas where Muslims are present such as regions of Kivu and the region Sikk, and the Massis, which includes a number of large Islamic facilities, especially the four mosques built by the Islamic Call Organization in 2011, and due to the lack of stability and security, Muslims fled to Rwanda and the neighbouring borders. As such, mosques were abandoned and some were destroyed as a result of violence and fighting.
- The Supreme Islamic Council in the Democratic Republic of the Congo: Which supervises the political and Islamic affairs of Muslims in the Congo. Its members are elected from among the representatives of Muslims from the various provinces. Due to the scarcity of resources and the inability of the council to call for its regular conference, the role of the council retreated drastically leaving behind a great gap in the leadership of the Muslim minority. Some 200 mosques over the Congolese territories are under its supervision.
- Muslim World League: The Muslim World League and the Congolese government reached an agreement in 1990 AD to open an office for the league in Central Africa Province. The Congolese government granted the representative of the league the privileges of the diplomatic corps.
- The Sudanese Islamic Call Organization and Al Maktoum Association: These associations play a role in Dawa and relief. They established several schools including Ibn Rushud School and a limited number of hospitals in Muslim areas besides organizing Iftar dinners for believers in the Holy Month of Ramadan and purchasing Halal meat for Muslims. However, this effort remains seasonal.
- The Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs in the Democratic Republic of the Congo: It seeks to establish Islamic courts to settle problems of personal status or inheritance; for this reason, councils of Muslim clergymen and scholars were formed in areas with Muslim majorities to address such issues, so as to avoid the resort of the plaintiff and the defendant to official courts. This attributes to hiding the problems Muslims face from others so that these problems are not exploited to abuse Islam.
- The Charitable Association for Human Development and Promotion: This association inaugurated a charity complex in the city of Kikiwete in Bandundu Province. The complex comprises a vast mosque, a house for the imam of the mosque, and a washing room for the dead according to the Islamic Sharia.
- Nour Organization for Islamic Affairs: This Islamic organization seeks to prepare some 20 young men in the province of Bunia to let them acquire the necessary skills to understand Islam. This comes in the framework of an awareness campaign to introduce the honourable values of Islam to non-Muslim residents.
- Congo Muslims Society: It is the largest Islamic association that supervises administrative units in the various DRC provinces. It aims at preparing and qualifying Muslim youth to partake in supporting the sustainable development. However, the Muslim youth see that the activity of this society is inefficient in general. The reason behind that is the lack of the financial source. Moreover, it is not viewed as a recognized Islamic authority, and it is not influential among Muslims. This led the Muslim youth to form smaller societies and institutions, and these organizations had boards of scholars and muftis.
The organizations that benefit from the support of the Congo Muslim Society in executing their numerous and diverse activities are:
- The Islamic Charity Society for Language and Education
- The Values Institution (Shiite institution)
- The Congolese Muslim Institution (Humanitarian Society)
- The Congolese West African Alliance for Common Objectives (developmental society)
- Social Reform Center
- Congo Muslim Youth Union
- Salamah Islamic Center
- Zamzam Institution
- Congolese Muslim Women Union
- Women Union for Development
As for Islamic educational institutions, though they are only few, some of them are also weak and lack capacities. The main Islamic universities and institutions in the Congo are:
- Al Mustafa University in the Congo (Shiite University)
- Al Muslim Institute in the Congo
- Islamic Fateh University in the Northern Province (Kivu)
Shia in the Congo
Shiites account for 20% of the Muslims in DRC. Shiites have an old presence in this country; they were Khoja traders who came to this country, and had a prominent influence in promulgating and supporting Shiism in the Congo, besides building mosques. Recently, Shiism has spread significantly especially in the past decade.
One of the most famous mosques in the country is the Gumbi Mosque in Kinshasa, the Holy Prophet (PBUHH) Mosque in Kasai, and the Kamalondo Mosque in Lumumbashi. The Holy Prophet Mosque organizes various religious activities including seminars and lectures, besides broadcasting weekly TV episodes that present Islam in its civilized image as well as coordinating with other Islamic institutions. It has other cultural project underway.
The capital is the main center for the Shiites in addition to many other areas, including Lumumbashi, Bukavu, Kasai and Kisangani. Shiites have several centers and institutions which they run and through which they organize their various activities such as Dawa, lectures, translation of books into the local language, teaching children, and performing religious rituals.
The main Shiite centers are:
- Dar Al Huda Center in Kinshasa, and it includes a school and other divisions.
- Al–Qaim (May Allah hasten his relief) Center in Massina.
- Al Zahraa (peace be upon her) School in Kinshasa.
- The Charity Institution for Islamic Researches and Social Care for the New Muslims (IRWFA): It aims to support Islam and the Islamic Dawa according to the Holy Quran and the Sunnah of the Prophet (Peace be upon him and his Household) and the chaste Imams (Peace be upon them). In addition to the Islamic Dawa, it seeks Islamic development, social development, protecting the youths, families, and the deprived.
- Ahul Bayt (Peace be upon them) Islamic Society.
This is in addition to some centers which are run by Lebanese people. These centers comprise hundreds of students of different ages. Moreover, tens of students are studying abroad, especially in Iran and Syria, as well as Tanzania.
Several Shiite mosques and Husseiniyehs are supervised by Indians and Lebanese people in the capital, Kinshasa, Kasai and Lumumbashi.
It is worth mentioning that the phenomenon of embracing the sect of Ahl al-Bayt (peace be upon them) is spreading significantly for several reasons, including the impact of the Jaafari jurisprudence at the level of scholars, the incessant activity of Dawa callers and, most importantly, the negative impact of the flimsy and refuted suspicions and unreasonable stigmatizations transmitted by Wahhabism to undermine Shiites and Shiism.
The activities of Shia include the daily distribution of 2000 meals by a team Shia youth to needy Muslims and Christians in various areas in the Congo.
This team includes Pakistani, Lebanese, and Indian Shia youth who live in the Congo, and they are one of the groups affiliated to the global movement “Who is Hussain?”
“Who is Hussain?” is an organization that started its activity as a small group of young Londoners in 2012, but no soon it spread around the world. It is active now via organizations affiliated to it or follow its example in many countries around the Globe including America, Canada, Britain, France, Germany, Norway, Australia, Nigeria, Kuwait, Lebanon, India, and Pakistan.