Czech Protestants raise 18,000 EUR for rape survivors in DR Congo

Prague. Protestants in the Czech republic raised half a million Czech crowns for women in the DRC. Photo: Roman Boed, creative commons
Prague. Protestants in the Czech republic raised half a million Czech crowns for women in the DRC. Photo: Roman Boed, creative commons

Support to Panzi hospital of Dr. Mukwege Foundation

(LWI) - The Evangelical Church of Czech Brethren (ECCB), a member church of The Lutheran World Federation (LWF) in the Czech Republic, has raised money for the Panzi foundation which supports medical treatment for raped women in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The collection at the ECCB synod was initiated following the keynote speech on sexual violence of Dr Mukwege at the Twelfth LWF Assembly in May 2017.

A strong statement for the women in DRC: half a million Czech Crowns, about 18,000 Euro, were donated after the ECCB synod council announced an extraordinary collection for the Panzi foundation last september. The proceeds will go to a hospital founded by Dr Denis Mukwege, a medical doctor and advocate against gender-based violence in DRC.

“Rape is used in the Congo as a weapon of war, and it is very destructive. The aim is not to satisfy sexual desire, but to criminalize women, which brings about the disintegration of entire communities where women are often the main economic power. The victims are not only adult women, young and old, but also girls, including infants,” a statement by the ECCB reads.

 ECCB

ECCB Synodal Council Members. Photo: ECCB

LWF council member Olga Navrátilová was a delegate of the ECCB at the LWF assembly in Windhoek, when Dr. Mukwege gave the keynote speech on sexual violence and the situation in DRC at the Twelfth LWF assembly in Windhoek, Namibia, in May 2017. “I was shocked by the speech of Dr. Denis Mukwege,” she says. “After reading my report from the General Assembly at the Synodal Council of ECCB, they decided to launch a collection within the church to support the work of Panzi Hospital.”

The goal of the collection was not only to raise the money but also to increase the awareness of the situation in Democratic Republic of Congo. The collected sum of about 18 000 € has surpassed our expectations.
Olga Navrátilová, LWF assembly delegate and LWF council member from the Evangelical Church of Czech Brethren (ECCB)

“The goal of the collection was not only to raise the money but also to increase the awareness of the situation in Democratic Republic of Congo,” she adds. “The collected sum of about 18,000 € has surpassed our expectations.” ECCB has close to 80,000 members.

“It is up to us, the heirs of Martin Luther, through God’s word, to exorcise all the macho demons possessing the world so that women who are victims of male barbarity can experience the reign of God in their lives,” said Mukwege in his keynote speech at the LWF Assembly on 11 May.

“I am convinced that I will find in you an attentive ear and faithful mouths to make the cries of the women victims of sexual violence heard, so that never again will there be impunity for perpetrators against women who are victims of sexual violence,” he added.