CHRISTIAN HEALING thrives in Congo

MAYAL TSHIABUILA worked for the United Nations Development Program as an administrative and program assistant in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. His assignments also included a stint in Cambodia. He spoke by telephone from his home in Kinshasa with the Sentinel's Warren Bolon and with Luisella Jaques-Deraney of the French magazine and radio program, Le Héraut de la Christian Science. Tshiabuila commented on the religious climate in a vast country (with a land mass equal to a quarter of the continental United States) that is enjoying newfound freedom from a 27-year dictatorship. The DRC's diverse population continues to suffer from internal and cross-border conflicts, but the Congolese are finding their way toward self-government.

Our churches in Kinshasa began, as Christian Science congregations in most places begin, with healing. In the late 1960s, a Congolese man met someone who had the book Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, and that's how he was introduced to Christian Science. And later on, after reading it, he was healed of an illness. He stuck with his study of the book, and he tried to organize a church in his own way, but he didn't have the Church Manual (written by the author of Science and Health, Mary Baker Eddy), and didn't know how to go about it. So he began by organizing services according to the way traditional churches do.

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