An Overview of Kinshasa

Kinshasa is the capital and largest city of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The city is located on the Congo River.

Once a site of fishing villages, Kinshasa is now an urban area with a population of over 5 million. It faces the capital of the neighbouring Republic of Congo, Brazzaville, which can be seen in the distance across the wide Congo River. Because the administrative boundaries cover such a vast area, over 60% of the city’s land is rural in nature, and the urban area only occupies a small section in the far western end of the province.

Kinshasa is a vibrant city of sharp contrasts. Commercial affluence and extreme poverty are found side by side. Kinshasa’s infrastructure leaves much to be wished for. There are no rail links inland and road connections to much of the rest of the country are in poor condition or scarce.

The two main languages spoken in Kinshasa are Lingala and French. Although it has no significant native French speaking population, it is the largest officially francophone city in the world, before Paris and Montreal, inasmuch as French is the language of government and commerce, and is used as a lingua franca.

Residents of Kinshasa are known as Kinois (in French and sometimes in English) or Kinshasans (English) (source).

Religion in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

Christianity is the majority religion in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, followed by about 96% of the population. Denominations include Roman Catholic 50%, Protestant (including Kimbanguism) 39%, other Christian 7%, Muslim 1.5%, Animism 0.7%, and other 2.2%. 

Kimbanguism, officially “the church of Christ on Earth by the prophet Simon Kimbangu”, now has about three million members, primarily among the Bakongo of Bas-Congo and Kinshasa. 62 of the Protestant denominations in the country are federated under the umbrella of the Church of Christ in Congo or CCC. It is often simply referred to as ‘The Protestant Church’, since it covers most of the 35% of the population who are Protestants.

Of the remaining 4% of the population, 1.5% are Muslim, and the rest follow traditional beliefs, syncretic sects, or Hinduism. Islam was introduced and mainly spread by Arab traders/merchants. Traditional religions embody such concepts as monotheism, animism, vitalism, spirit and ancestor worship, witchcraft, and sorcery and vary widely among ethnic groups.

The syncretic sects often merge Christianity with traditional beliefs and rituals and may not be accepted by mainstream churches as part of Christianity. A clear delineation of religious affiliation into these membership categories can give a misleading picture of Congolese reality. The number of persons who can be categorized as belonging exclusively to one group or another is limited. Overlapping affiliations are more common (source).

Would you pray that God would send more laborers to this city and country to lift His name high?

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