Skip to comments.Christianity Today: “Deliver Us from Kony” [a horrible story for Holy Innocents]
Posted on 12/28/2005 9:45:47 AM PST by sionnsar
The January 2006 issue of Christianity Today (thanks to Chris and Emily Smith for lending me their copy!) includes an eye-opening article on the holocaust in Northern Uganda, Deliver Us from Kony: Why the children of Uganda are killing one another in the name of the Lord, written by J Carter Johnson from Kitgum. There is as yet no link to the article online, so I post below a few excerpts. I would encourage all of you to find a copy of the magazine and read the article.
Sixty years after Allied soldiers liberated the Nazi death camps, the world stands silent in the face of another holocaust - one so horrifying that U.N. officials call it one of the worst humanitarian crises of the past century.
The perpetrators commit atrocities with such malevolence that even the most irreligious people familiar with their acts describe them as unrestrained evil. The targets of the butchery are children. They rape, mutilate, and kill them with a rapaciousness that staggers the imagination. Worse, they compel children to kill one another and their own families, fighting as soldiers in an armed force deliberately composed of children.
Perhaps the greatest atrocity is teaching these children that they spread this carnage by the power of the Holy Spirit to purify the unrepentant, twisting Christianity into a religion of horror to their victims. It is spiritual warfare at its very worst, and it could not be more satanic
What began in 1986 as a rebellion against the Ugandan government has metamorphosed into a military millenarian cult. Its reason for existence is to perpetuate the power of its leader, a ruthless witchcraft practitioner name Joseph Kony.
He claims to be fighting Ugandan president Yoweri Musevenis government on behalf of the ethic Acholi people, who populate the nations three northermost districts of Kitgum, Gulu, and Pader. The Acholi have a longstanding grievance with the more prosperous southern Ugandans, much of it rooted in 19th-century British colonial policies that favored southerners in education and business, while relegating the Acholi to army service. However, the LRA attacks the Acholi, the very people they claim to defend, far more often than the Uganda military
Sadly, reports of LRA savagery are not isolated incidents. The children whom I interviewed in Uganda and southern Sudan who escaped LRA captivity, along with thousands of documented cases, demonstrate that these monstrosities are standard operating procedure. Nearly 90 percent of LRA fighters are enslaved children, kidnapped from their families. [Editors warning: The rest of this section contains graphic descriptions of brutality.]
Under threat of death, LRA child soldiers attack villages, shooting and cutting off peoples lips, ears, hands, feet, or breasts, at times force-feeding the severed body parts to victims families. Some cut open the bellies of pregnant women and tear their babies out. Men and women are gang-raped. As a warning to those who might report them to Ugandan authorities, they bore holes in the lips of victims and padlock them shut. Victims are burned alive or beaten to death with machetes and clubs. The murderous task is considered properly executed only when the victime is mutilated beyond recognition and his or her blood spatter the killers clothing
Since 1986, the LRA is estimated to abducted as many as 50,000 children. Many more Ugandans have been maimed and traumatized. About 1.6 million have been driven from their homes. The death toll from the conflict is estimated at more than 30,000 children .
Johnson continues with graphic descriptions of what has happened to some of the children whom he interviewed, children who have escaped from the murderous slavery and service of the LRA to hospitals, like those operated by Doctors Without Borders, sanctuaries set up by Christian ministries, like the Maranatha Childrens Center outside Kitgum, operated by Far Reaching Ministries, and rehabilitation center like that operated by World Vision in Gulu. He discusses the commuter children, those who trek into cities from the countryside each night to avoid abduction by the LRA and who return to the countryside each morning, a journey of several kilometers each way that must be made by children as young as toddlers. Even though these children seek sanctuary on the streets of the cities, they are still at risk:
Often girls are sexually abused along the way by boys making the same journey or by drunken men in town. Teenage boys roam the sidewalks in packs, bullying younger children. Children are beaten in the dark every night. But these risks are preferable to being abducted by the LRA. Few children carry any food during their nocturnal sojourn, which can last 16 hours from departure to return, and they are still vulnerable to LRA attack in transit.
Johnson writes that a political solution is remote, despite the work of intermediaries like Betty Bigombe, a former Ugandan government minister who is herself Acholi, and who has met with LRA leaders several times in an attempt to negotiate a settlement to end the fighting. Despite the work of such intermediaries (I regret that Johnson did not also take note of the work of the Acholi Religious Leaders Peace Initiative as intermediaries in the conflict), the issuance of arrest warrants for Kony and his top four commanders by the International Criminal Court in October of this year resulted in a breakdown of attempts to mediate the conflict.
There is a huge lacuna in Johnsons article; viz., the role of the government of President Museveni in the suffering of the people of Northern Uganda. Johnson does not note the reluctance of the Museveni government to end this conflict, does not seem aware of Musevenis animus toward the Acholi people, and takes no note of the role of the Ugandan defense forces in their atrocities against the Acholi people.
Johnson concludes his article noting ways in which Christians can help end the suffering.
The people most familiar with LRA terrorism agree that the best hope for ending the carnage is putting it on the radar screen of the Western world.
Akello Lwanga, a physician, spent two years treating LRA victims at an internally displaced persons camp in Pader. If Americans saw this on TV as often as they see the Middle East, he said, it would stop.
People need to see whats happening in northern Uganda, said U.S. ambassador to Uganda Jimmy Kolker. The suffering of these children is unimaginable. Absolutely, it is important for the public to know about this as a step toward bringing it to an end.
Ordinary Christians can help stop LRA terrorism [and, I would add, the intransigence of the Museveni government in not resolving this conflict]. Presenting the issue to churches, continuing in intercessory prayer over the conflict, donating to Christian agencies that work with Ugandan children, and pressing government officials for action all work to save LRA victims.
On this commemoration of the Holy Innocents, children slain by a power-mad tyrant, do not forget the children of Northern Uganda.
*8The death toll from the conflict is estimated at more than 30,000 children
Lord, bless all these children and their families.
You've chosen an excellent screen name for yourself, newbie.
No, no oil so they don't count. :-(
Personally, I think a good assassin would be justified here. The Ugandan government certainly has just cause. Somebody should be able to find this guy and take him down.
And you know what's sick? More than once I've seen the mainstream media refer to this guy as a "Christian" leader and his army as a "Christian" organization.
Oh Lord send out your angels to protect and shelter these innocents. We remember your flight into Egypt to escape Herod and ask that you move the hearts of your people to mercy that they may give refuge and justice to these children.
Against this evil we pray.
St. Michael the Archangel,
defend us in battle.
Be our defense against the wickedness and snares of the Devil.
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray,
and do thou,
O Prince of the heavenly hosts,
by the power of God,
thrust into hell Satan,
and all the evil spirits,
who prowl about the world
seeking the ruin of souls. Amen..
Thank you for your kind response. How the world gets changed is one heart at a time. Be sure that the Lord of Hosts will deal with the murdering bastards that target this children and turn them into killers. All I can add to this is "Come quickly, Lord!"
I found this information on the US Department of State's web site. Kony is at war against Christians. I truly believe he is demonic.
I am not sure the year these took place. Maybe 2002.
The LRA was also responsible for abuses, including attacks on religious leaders and multiple incidents involving the destruction and theft of church property. The Government of Uganda is attempting to stop the LRA insurgency through a combination of military action against the LRA, the provision of amnesty for rebels wishing to surrender, and offers of peace talks.
On April 25, LRA rebels abducted Father Gabriel Durigon, an Italian parish priest, when they attacked Gulu Cathedral, the headquarters of the Catholic Church in Northern Uganda.
On May 11, LRA rebels abducted 44 young seminarians from the Sacred Heart Minor Seminary in Lacor, Gulu District. Four of the students were later rescued in a battle in Pader District. Seven others were reportedly killed.
On June 6, LRA rebels abducted Father Alex Ojera, a parish priest of Alito Catholic Mission in Apac District along with 16 children. Fr. Ojera was released shortly thereafter, but no information is available on the abducted children.
On June 12, LRA leader Joseph Kony reportedly ordered all his troops to destroy church missions and kill all priests in Northern Uganda. The Monitor newspaper quoted Kony on June 16 speaking on local radio as saying "Catholic missions must be destroyed, priests and all missionaries killed in cold blood and nuns beaten black and blue."
On September 14, 2002, LRA rebels overran a military detachment in Opit and then the Opit Catholic mission where they abducted two Comboni missionaries, Fathers Ponziano Velluto and Alex Pizzi. The two priests were released after 12 hours. The rebels stole communications equipment from the Mission.
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