Churchgoers poisoned in DR Congo

Sixty-four villagers have died after reportedly drinking a potion at a religious ritual in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Health officials in Kinshasa, say they are looking for a catholic priest who allegedly administered the drink to his followers during a cleansing ceremony.

About 100 people drank the potion which was said to have mystical properties in Bosobe, north-east of Kinshasa.

Health Minister Yagi Sitolo said they have sent doctors to the village to carry out tests on the survivors.


The village of Basobe is some 100 km from Inongo.

The BBC’s Arnaud Zajtman in Kinshasa says the Catholic Bishop of Inongo diocese, Leon Lessambo, confirmed the incident had involved one of his priests.

The priest, according to Bishop Lessambo, has had a history of eccentric behavior.

The authorities in Kinshasa suspect that the Catholic priest has gone into hiding.

Religious rituals have been on the rise in DR Congo, especially in far-flung areas which are not adequately controlled by the government.

A number of priests claiming to possess supernatural powers have been hosting deliverance ceremonies aimed at “washing away” the troubles of their followers.

We appreciate your support

One way in which you can support us — at no additional cost to you — is by shopping at


Our website includes affiliate links, which means we get a small commission — at no additional cost to you — for each qualifying purpose. For instance, as an Amazon Associate Religion News Blog earns from qualifying purchases. That is one reason why we can provide this service free of charge.


(Listed if other than Religion News Blog)
Dec. 5, 2003

More About This Subject

This post was last updated: Monday, November 30, -0001 at 12:00 AM, Central European Time (CET)