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Pentecostalism: Divine healing in Eas...
Goma
By Patrick
31 Jul 2014

Prayer houses have become a public health concern for the Congolese Government. The misconception many Congolese have about physical and mental illness makes them avoid hospitals and go to their nearest prayer house.
The “Galilaya” Church has many of these prayer houses across the Congo. It belongs to the 8th Community of the Pentecostal Churches of Central Africa (8th CEPAC) and is one of the many movements that shape the religious landscape in North Kivu´s capital, Goma, a city with 1 million inhabitants in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). In a nation that has witnessed so much horror and violence many turn to religion in the search for answers and solutions.

The DRC has a strong Christian tradition born out of colonialism. It is estimated that around 90% of the 70 million inhabitants are of Christian faith. However religious schisms have created an increasing number of religious movements within Christianity. Pentecostalism is one of these movements. This renewal movement within Christianity is based on four fundamental beliefs: Salvation, Baptism with the Holy Spirit, divine healing and the Second Coming of Christ. It is the notion of divine healing that has given the movement such strength in a region punished by war and misery for the last 20 years. Pastors like Moise Munyuabumba, head of the Galilaya Church, promise divine healing to every Congolese who embraces the faith. The pastor has apparently cured patients of sterility, mental traumas, sexual impotence, and even cancer, along with other ailments. The church comes together a few times a week in the prayer house to seek salvation. The prayer houses are people’s homes that have been turned into churches. The healing sessions are intense. The faithful usually go into a trance-like state and sometimes end up having prophecies or speak in tongues.

The misconception many Congolese have about modern medicine makes them avoid hospitals and go to their nearest prayer house. This misconception stems from the idea of witchcraft and old beliefs in which the source of evil emanates from sorcery or spells. Easy treatable diseases can become lethal because of late diagnosis. People with a burn would rather go to a prayer house than a hospital. Those who go to hospitals might not find the answers they were looking for and will try their luck with people like Pastor Moise Munyuabumba. Desperation and fear make many Congolese seek spiritual shelter in “Galilaya” where their physical and mental traumas can be healed through praying. In the third largest country in Africa where life expectancy is 48, modern medicine has to combat Churches like “Galilaya” who promise divine healing. The DRC also has the lowest rank in the Human Development Report along with Niger.

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Shamans and Pills: Healthcare in DR C...
Goma
By Patrick
03 Jun 2014

April 2014,
Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo

After experiencing the deadliest war since World War 2, healthcare in the Democratic Republic of Congo is in disarray and millions of people are relying on shamans and spiritual healers to treat their physical and psychological disorders. The absence of infrastructure and health care facilities, combined with a lack of faith in western-style medical treatment, means that most patients go to local shamans or radical Christian ‘houses of prayer’ instead of hospitals. Many of these ‘traditional’ health practitioners believe that mental and physical disorders are the result of witchcraft or demonic possession, and thus condone the use of highly unorthodox methods to ‘extract’ the illness or 'demon'. In the DRC, western-style health institutions are regarded only as a last-ditch solution. This attitude has only exacerbated the endemic and led to many deaths from treatable diseases.

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Mental Illness in DR Congo 01
By Patrick
28 Apr 2014

Goma, North Kivu, DRC. Minister Moise Munyuabumba runs the 8th CEPAC Galilaya Church, a 'house of prayer', which belongs to the Pentecostal movement. Pentecolism is a form of Christianity that emphasizes the work of the Holy Spirit and the direct experience of the presence of God by the believer. Minister Munyuabumba has been using religion to try and heal the mental and physical disorders of the people who come to his church.

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Mental Illness in DR Congo 02
By Patrick
28 Apr 2014

Goma, North Kivu, DRC. Here Minister Moise Munyuabumba is giving a sermon at the house of prayer. Every saturday people come to him in the hope of being healed. They believe in divine healing through prayer and consider all illness a consequence of the sin of man.

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Mental Illness in DR Congo 03
By Patrick
28 Apr 2014

Goma, North Kivu, DRC. Minister Munyuabumba tries to treat Beat Mekarubamba, who has breast cancer. The Minister says she has cancer because she is the second wife of a polygamist and that she will only be healed if she accepts her sin.

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Mental Illness in DR Congo 04
By Patrick
28 Apr 2014

Goma, North Kivu, DRC. This is Lwanda Binwa, a regular at the 8th Cepac Galilaya Church. She began to have prophetic visions about Beat Mekarubamba, the woman with breast cancer (previous picture). She went into a trance and was making prophecies for around 15 minutes.

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Mental Illness in DR Congo 05
By Patrick
28 Apr 2014

Goma, North Kivu, DRC. Men pray at Minister Munyuabumba's church.

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Mental Illness in DR Congo 06
By Patrick
27 Apr 2014

Goma, North Kivu, DRC. Nyota Kanyere says that thanks to Minister Moise Munyuabumba, she was cured of madness.

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Mental Illness in DR Congo 07
By Patrick
27 Apr 2014

Goma, North Kivu, DRC. Isaac Rwanamiza is a traditional healer from the Bakumu tribe. These shamanic healers are recognized by the Congolese Government and supported by the Ministry of Health.

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Mental Illness in DR Congo 08
By Patrick
27 Apr 2014

Goma, North Kivu, DRC. Mark Ndibakunri is 11 years old and has elephantiasis. According to local healer Isaac Rwanamiza, this is because Mark stepped on a branch that had a spell on it. On the bed are various objects used in the healing process.

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Mental Illness in DR Congo 09
By Patrick
27 Apr 2014

Goma, North Kivu, DRC. Isaac Rwanamiza treats 11-year-old Elephantiasis patient Mark Ndibakunri by “removing” the bad spirits through his totem. According to Isaac, evil spirits are the cause of the Elephantiasis from which the boy is suffering. Isaac sees many patients daily and can charge up to $70 per session. Healers are well respected within their communities and have the blessing of local authorities.

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Mental Illness in DR Congo 10
By Patrick
27 Apr 2014

Goma, North Kivu, DRC. Here Isaac is performing another spell on Mark to remove the elephantiasis. He did not say what the bottle was for, but the twine tied around the legs is meant to “trap” the illness and avoid it spreading around the body.

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Pentecostalism- Divine healing in Eas...
By Patrick
26 Apr 2014

Divine healing is one of the key features of the Pentecostal Movement. Beat Mekarubamba was diagnosed breast cancer at a local hospital. According to Pastor Moise, her cancer is the consequence of her being with a polygamist. She will be healed when she admits her sin and embraces God.

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Pentecostalism- Divine healing in Eas...
By Patrick
26 Apr 2014

Justin Kabumba is a member of Galilaya. His sister Beat Mekarubamba has breast cancer. When hospitals couldnt help her, they went to Pastor Moises Church to seek healing.

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Mental Illness in DR Congo 11
By Patrick
26 Apr 2014

Goma, North Kivu, DRC. Dr. Moise Mbusa is the head doctor at 'Tulizo Letu', or 'Our Comfort', a mental health hospital run by the Brothers of Charity. He is the only properly trained doctor working at the institution. All patients must be seen by him and, if medication is needed, he is the one who prescribes it. Some are required to take medication in order to live. Difficulties arise in remote areas because many are forced to travel long distances by foot just to get their medication, and this can compromise their treatment.

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Mental Illness in DR Congo 12
By Patrick
26 Apr 2014

Goma, North Kivu, DRC. Electroencephalography (EGG) enables the detection of epilepsy and other brain-related injuries. Patients come and sit with sensory pads attached to their heads for around ten minutes, while a specialist monitors their brain activity. In this case this girl was fine. She had come in with her parents for an epilepsy check but was not a patient of the hospital.

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Pentecostalism: Divine Healing in Eas...
Goma
By Patrick
26 Apr 2014

Justin Kabumba with his sister Beat Mekarubamba. Beat has been diagnosed with breast cancer and seeks healing in the “Galilaya” prayer house.

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Pentecostalism- Divine healing in Eas...
By Patrick
26 Apr 2014

Justin Kabumba with his sister Beat Mekarubamba. Beat has been diagnosed with breast cancer and seeks healing in the Galilaya prayer house.

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Mental Illness in DR Congo 13
By Patrick
26 Apr 2014

Goma, North Kivu, DRC. Kome Katenga is a patient of the 'Tulizo Letu' mental institution. He joined the Alliance of Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Congo (ADFL) in the first Congo War when he was just 16. Led by Laurent Kabila, the ADFL was known for its brutality and the recruitment of child soldiers. In 2002, Kome started drinking. He has been admitted into mental institutions seven times since.

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Mental Illness in DR Congo 14
By Patrick
26 Apr 2014

Goma, North Kivu, DRC. A feeling of insecurity often increases the effects of mental health disorders. Despite the effort made by international and local NGOs, Western-style psychotherapy and psychiatric treatments are virtually nonexistent in the DRC.

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Pentecostalism: Divine Healing in Eas...
Goma
By Patrick
26 Apr 2014

Aziya Heshima could only give birth by caesarean until Pastor Moise healed her. Praying sessions end with music and dancing.

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Pentecostalism- Divine healing in Eas...
By Patrick
26 Apr 2014

Aziya Heshima could only give birth by caesarean until Pastor Moise healed her. Praying sessions end with music and dancing.

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Pentecostalism: Divine Healing in Eas...
Goma
By Patrick
26 Apr 2014

Furahu Kahalako joined this Church to seek help with her mental illness.

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Pentecostalism: Divine Healing in Eas...
Goma
By Patrick
26 Apr 2014

John Akilimali comes regularly to the “Galilaya´s” prayer house after Pastor Moise cured him of poisoning.

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Pentecostalism- Divine healing in Eas...
By Patrick
26 Apr 2014

John Akilimali comes regularly to the Galilayas prayer house after Pastor Moise cured him of poisoning.

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Pentecostalism: Divine Healing in Eas...
Goma
By Patrick
26 Apr 2014

Divine healing is one of the key features of the Pentecostal Movement. Beat Mekarubamba was diagnosed breast cancer at a local hospital. According to Pastor Moise, her cancer is the consequence of her being with a polygamist. She will be healed when she admits her sin and embraces God.

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Pentecostalism: Divine Healing in Eas...
Goma
By Patrick
26 Apr 2014

Pastor Moise Munyuabumba heals people every Saturday in sessions that can last up to 3 hours. The Pastor reads some passages from the Bible, explains them and then starts the healing process.

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Pentecostalism- Divine healing in Eas...
By Patrick
26 Apr 2014

Pastor Moise Munyuabumba heals people every Saturday in sessions that can last up to 3 hours. The Pastor reads some passages from the Bible, explains them and then starts the healing process.

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Pentecostalism: Divine Healing in Eas...
Goma
By Patrick
26 Apr 2014

Daniel Masumbuko is from Uganda and has had a very close relationship with Pastor Moise, ever since Moise went to Uganda to heal him from erectile dysfunction disorder.

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Pentecostalism: Divine Healing in Eas...
Goma
By Patrick
26 Apr 2014

“Galilaya´s” prayer house in Goma, North Kivu.

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Pentecostalism: Divine Healing in Eas...
Goma
By Patrick
26 Apr 2014

The intensity increases towards the end of the praying, as members of the Church receive Pastor Moise´s blessing.

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Pentecostalism- Divine healing in Eas...
By Patrick
26 Apr 2014

The intensity increases towards the end of the praying, as members of the Church receive Pastor Moises blessing.

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Pentecostalism: Divine Healing in Eas...
Goma
By Patrick
26 Apr 2014

These kind of prayer houses can be found all across the region of Goma.

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Pentecostalism- Divine healing in Eas...
By Patrick
26 Apr 2014

These kind of prayer houses can be found all across the region of Goma.

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Mental Illness in DR Congo 15
By Patrick
26 Apr 2014

Goma, Norht Kivu, DRC. Deo Kakule is a paranoid schizophrenic. He burned his house down after the fighting forced his mother to leave. Deo is a patient 'Our Comfort'.

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Pentecostalism: Divine Healing in Eas...
Goma
By Patrick
26 Apr 2014

Justin Kabumba is a member of “Galilaya”. His sister Beat Mekarubamba has breast cancer. When hospitals couldn´t help her, they went to Pastor Moise´s Church to seek healing.

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Pentecostalism: Divine Healing in Eas...
Goma
By Patrick
26 Apr 2014

Pentecostalism is an evangelical faith. Its adherents generally believe in the Bible´s divinity and inerrancy.

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Pentecostalism- Divine healing in Eas...
By Patrick
26 Apr 2014

Pentecostalism is an evangelical faith. Its adherents generally believe in the Bibles divinity and inerrancy.

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Pentecostalism- Divine healing in Eas...
By Patrick
26 Apr 2014

Furahu Kahalako joined this Church to seek help with her mental illness.

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Pentecostalism- Divine healing in Eas...
By Patrick
26 Apr 2014

Daniel Masumbuko is from Uganda and has had a very close relationship with Pastor Moise, ever since Moise went to Uganda to heal him from erectile dysfunction disorder.