The Lord’s Resistance Army terrorises southern Sudan, northern Congo, the eastern Central African Republic (CAR) and Uganda.
In 1986 a Catholic, self-proclaimed ‘prophetess’ named Alice Lakwena founded an ethnic, Acholi militia in northern Uganda in response to what she believed was the voice of the Holy Spirit ordering her to overthrow the government of Uganda.
By 1987 Lakwena’s ‘Holy Spirit Movement’ was finished: Lakwena had fled (she died in Kenya in 2007) and some 5000 of her soldiers lay dead.
Under the leadership of Joseph Kony, a spirit-medium and former Catholic altar-boy, the survivors regrouped, forming the ‘Lord’s Resistance Army’ (LRA). Lacking popular support, the LRA keeps its ranks filled by abducting children whom they terrorise into submission, and then indoctrinate and send out to kill and be killed.
Around 90 per cent of all LRA soldiers are believed to have been abducted as children. This is one reason why the Ugandan government has been reluctant to attack the LRA with lethal force.
While claiming to be the Lord’s army led by the Holy Spirit, the LRA is deeply occultic. It receives support and supplies from the Islamic regime in Khartoum, Sudan. Khartoum uses the LRA as a proxy militia against African Christian, animist, and even Muslim (Darfur) communities that reject Khartoum’s Arab Islamic imperialism.
As is common in occultism, LRA soldiers routinely collect their victims’ genitals, livers, hearts and the like for use as occult charms (juju) in cannibalistic blood rituals. According to testimonies from defectors and rescued children, Kony routinely enters a trance to become possessed by a spirit (claimed to be the Holy Spirit).
If Kony talks while possessed, by repute whatever he says comes exactly true. The spirit reportedly alerts Kony to military movements, instructs him whom to kill and is always hungry for more human blood.
The LRA was decimated by a rash of defections starting mid-2003 and by Operation Lightning Thunder in 2008, a joint exercise in the DRC by the armies of south Sudan, Uganda and DRC.
However, a revived and resupplied LRA is now terrorising the border regions of Southern Sudan, northern Congo and eastern CAR. Bishop Eduardo Kussala of Tombura-Yambio in remote southern Sudan recently appealed through Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) for international attention and intervention (ACN 29/9/09).
In early September 2009, a large band of LRA soldiers stormed into a church in his diocese, desecrated the building and abducted 17 youths. Three escaped, one was later found dead and mutilated, and 13 were held in captivity by the LRA.
According to Bishop Hiiboro, 12 people were subsequently abducted from a village near Nzara, and six people ambushed in the forest outside Nzara were killed after being nailed to pieces of wood fastened to the ground. Those who discovered the bodies likened it to a grotesque crucifixion scene.
After a spate of similarly horrendous attacks in August, some 20,000 Christians of all denominations across Western Equatoria State, South Sudan, walked more than two miles barefoot in sackcloth and ashes in prayer and silent protest.
Whilst the LRA is actually little more than a rag-tag band of guerrillas, under Kony’s command they have been outwitting the official armies of Uganda, southern Sudan, CAR and DRC (separately and combined) for some 20 years.
There is more to the LRA than mere human evil. In its wake lie millions of mostly Christian traumatised victims, in a region where virtually all services, provision of shelter, humanitarian aid, health care, education, care of orphans and rehabilitation of victims is provided by the church.
From Religious liberty prayer bulletin (7/10/09)