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Democratic Republic of the Congo Church Records

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For information about records for non-Christian religions in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, go to the Religious Records page.

Online Resources and Websites[edit | edit source]

Historical Background[edit | edit source]

Christianity is the majority religion in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, followed by more than 79% of the population. Denominations include Roman Catholic 42.8%, Protestant 38% and other Christian denominations (including Kimbanguist) 12%. 62 of the Protestant denominations in the country are federated under the umbrella of the Church of Christ in Congo or CCC (in French, Église du Christ au Congo or ECC). It is often simply referred to as 'The Protestant Church', since it covers most of the 20% of the population who are Protestants.

Christianity was brought to DRC from Europe, mainly Belgium. The writer Jens Bjørneboe wrote in "Frihetens Øyeblikk" (Moments of Freedom) that "The Belgians worked hard with missionary activities among the black. After a few years the population in Congo was reduced from more than 30 million to only 8. In return, these 8 had become Christian". [1][2]

Information Recorded in the Records[edit | edit source]

Different denominations, different time periods, and practices of different record keepers will effect how much information can be found in the records. This outline will show the types of details which might be found (best case scenario):

Baptisms[edit | edit source]

In Catholic and Anglican records, children were usually baptized a few days after birth, and therefore, the baptism record proves date of birth. Other religions, such as Baptists, baptized at other points in the member's life. Baptism registers might give:

  • baptism date
  • the infant's name
  • parents' names
  • father's occupation
  • status of legitimacy
  • occasionally, names of grandparents
  • names of witnesses or godparents, who may be relatives
  • birth date and place
  • the family's place of residence
  • death information, as an added note or signified by a cross

Marriages[edit | edit source]

Marriage registers can give:

  • the marriage date
  • the names of the bride and groom
  • indicate whether the bride and groom were single or widowed
  • their ages
  • birth dates and places for the bride and groom
  • their residences
  • their occupations
  • birthplaces of the bride and groom
  • parents' names (after 1800)
  • the names of previous spouses and their death dates
  • names of witnesses, who might be relatives.

Burials[edit | edit source]

Burial registers may give:

  • the name of the deceased
  • the date and place of death or burial
  • the deceased's age
  • place of residence
  • cause of death
  • the names of survivors, especially a widow or widower
  • deceased's birth date and place
  • parents' names, or at least the father's name



How to Find Records[edit | edit source]

Digital Copies of Church Records in the FamilySearch Catalog[edit | edit source]

Watch for digitized copies of church records to be added to the collection of the FamilySearch Library. Some records might have viewing restrictions, and can only be viewed at a Family History Center near you, and/or by members of supporting organizations. To find records:

a. Click on the records of Congo (Democratic Republic).
b. Click on Places within Congo (Democratic Republic) and a list of towns will appear.
c. Click on your town if it appears, or the location which you believe was the parish which served your town or village.
d. Click on the "Church records" topic. Click on the blue links to specific record titles.
e. Some combination of these icons will appear at the far right of the listing for the record. FHL icons.png. The magnifying glass indicates that the record is indexed. Clicking on the magnifying glass will take you to the index. Clicking on the camera will take you to an online digital copy of the records.

Writing for Records[edit | edit source]

You will probably need to write to or email the national archives, the diocese, or local parish priests to find records. See French Letter Writing Guide for help with composing letters.

Catholic Church Records[edit | edit source]

Writing to a Local Parish[edit | edit source]

To locate the mailing address or e-mail address for a local parish, consult:

Historical Background[edit | edit source]

There are around 35 million Catholics in the country, representing about half of the total population. There are six archdioceses and 41 dioceses. The impact of the Roman Catholic Church in the DRC is enormous. Besides involving over 40 percent of the population in its religious services, its schools have educated over 60 percent of the nation's primary school students and more than 40 percent of its secondary students. The church owns and manages an extensive network of hospitals, schools, and clinics, as well as many diocesan economic enterprises, including farms, ranches, stores, and artisans' shops.

The church's penetration of the country at large is a product of the colonial era. The Belgian colonial state authorized and subsidized the predominantly Belgian Roman Catholic missions to establish schools and hospitals throughout the colony. [3][4]

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Records[edit | edit source]

Online Records[edit | edit source]

Information is available to current members only for deceased members and immediate family members who are still living. Sign in to FamilySearch and then select Family Tree in the drop-down menu.

Historical Background[edit | edit source]

The first missionaries arrived in Kinshasa in February 1986, when the Church received legal status. Meetings were first held in the homes of members. Then the Church purchased a villa and had it remodeled into a meetinghouse. In September 1986, at the first meeting in the 200-seat facility, 208 Church members attended. Many young men and young families were converted in the first year. In July 1987, membership reached 300. Some 20 of the new converts were called as local missionaries to extend the work. The Zaire Kinshasa Mission was created in 1987, and nine years later the Church had grown sufficiently for a stake (diocese) to be organized. Total Church Membership: 62,563. Congregations:196.[5]

Church of Christ in Congo Records[edit | edit source]

Writing for Records[edit | edit source]

Historical Background[edit | edit source]

The Church of Christ in the Congo or CCC (in French, Église du Christ au Congo or ECC), is a union of 62 Protestant denominations, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Within the Democratic Republic of the Congo, it is often simply referred to as the Protestant Church, as it federates the vast majority of the Protestants in that country. It is a member of the Fellowship of Christian Councils and Churches in the Great Lakes and Horn of Africa. The Union has its origins in a grouping of different Protestant and Evangelical churches by missionaries that took place in 1902. It was officially founded in 1924 as the Protestant Council of Congo (CPC). In 1934, it took the name of Church of Christ in Congo. [6]

  • Communauté des Assemblées des Frères au Katanga (CAFKAT)
  • Communauté Baptiste au Kivu (CBK)
  • Communauté des Eglises des Frères Mennonites au Congo (4ème CEFMC)
  • Communuatés des Eglises Libres de Pentecôte en Afrique (CELPA)
  • Communauté des Eglises Baptistes Unies (CEBU)
  • Communauté des Eglises de Grâce au Congo (GEGC)
  • Communauté des Eglises de Pentecôte en Afrique Centrale (C.E.P.A.C)
  • Communauté Evangélique Mennonite (CEM)
  • Communauté des Disciples du Christ au Congo (CDCC)
  • Communauté Anglicane au Congo (CAC)
  • Communauté des Assemblées de Dieu au Congo (CADC)
  • Communauté Baptiste du Fleuve Congo (CBFC)
  • Communauté Baptiste du Bas-Uélé (CBCN)
  • Communauté Baptiste du Congo (CBCO)
  • Communauté Evangélique du Christ au Cœur de l'Afrique (CECCA)
  • Communauté Evangélique du Christ eu Ubangi (CECU)
  • Communauté Evangélique de l'Alliance au Congo (CEAC)
  • Communauté Evangélique Berreenne au Congo (CEBC)
  • Communauté Evangélique au Centre de l'Afrique (CECA)
  • Communauté Nations du Christ en Afrique (CNCA)
  • Communauté Association des Eglises Evangéliques de la Lulonga (CADELU)
  • Communauté Evangélique au Congo (CEC)
  • Communauté Libre de Maniema-Kivu (CLMK)
  • Communauté Evangélique du Kwango (CEK)
  • Communauté Libre Méthodiste au Congo (CLMC)
  • Communauté Mennonite au Congo (CMCO)
  • Communauté Méthodiste Unie au Congo Central (CMCC)
  • Communauté Méthodiste au Sud-Congo (CMSC)
  • Communauté Pentecôtiste au Congo (CPCO)
  • Communauté Presbytérienne au Congo (CPC)
  • Presbyterian Community in Kinshasa|Communauté Presbytérienne de Kinshasa (CPK)
  • Communauté Région Sankuru (CRS)
  • Communauté Assemblée de Dieu à l'Est du Congo (CADAF)
  • Communauté Union des Eglises Baptistes au Congo (CUEBC)
  • Communauté Centrale du Christ en Afrique (CCCA)
  • Communauté des Assemblées de Dieu au Congo (CADC)
  • Communauté des Frères en Christ Garenganze (CFCG)
  • Communauté Assemblée des Frères Evangéliques au Congo (CAFECO)
  • Communauté des Eglises Chrétiennes en Afrique (CECA)
  • Communauté des Eglises Baptistes Indépendantes Evangéliques (CEBIE)
  • Communauté Evangélique Congolaise (CECO)
  • Communauté des Fidèles Protestants (CFP)
  • Communauté Evangélique de Pentecôte au Katanga (CEPK)
  • Communauté Protestante au Katanga (CPK)
  • Communauté des Assemblées des Frères en Christ au Congo (CAFCC)
  • Communauté Baptiste Autonome Entre Wamba-Bakali (CBAWB)
  • Communauté Episcopale Baptiste Africaine (CEBA)
  • Communauté Chrétienne Evangélique au Congo (CCEC)
  • Communauté Evangélique en Ubangi Mongala (CEUM)
  • Communauté Evangélique Luthérienne du Congo Ouest (CELCO)
  • Communauté Baptiste du Sud-Kwango (CBSK)
  • Communauté Méthodiste Unie au Nord-Katanga (CMUNK)
  • Communauté des Eglises Baptistes du Congo-Est (CBCE)
  • Communauté Evangélique du Kasaï-Occidental (CEK-BOOKE)
  • Communauté Presbytérienne au Kasaï-Occidental (CPKO)
  • Communauté Presbytérienne au Kasaï-Oriental (CPKO)
  • Communauté Evangélique Africaine (CEA)
  • Communauté Réformée Presbytérienne (CRP)
  • Communauté de Jésus-Christ au Congo (CJCC)
  • Communauté de Douze Apôtres au Congo (CDAC)
  • Communauté du Saint-Esprit en Afrique (CSEA)
  • Communauté Chrétienne de Pentecôte au Congo
  • Communauté Réformée du Congo

Kimbanguist Church Records[edit | edit source]

Writing for Records[edit | edit source]

Historical Background[edit | edit source]

Kimbanguism (French: Kimbanguisme) is a Christian new religious movement professed by the Church of Jesus Christ on Earth by His special envoy Simon Kimbangu (French: Église de Jésus Christ sur la Terre par son envoyé spécial Simon Kimbangu) founded by Simon Kimbangu in the Belgian Congo (today the Democratic Republic of the Congo) in 1921. It is considered a branch of Christianity. A large, independent African initiated church, it has an estimated 22.5 million believers and has its headquarters in Nkamba.[7]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Wikipedia contributors, "Democratic Republic of_ he_Congo", in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Democratic_Republic_of_the_Congo, accessed 25 March 2020.
  2. Wikipedia contributors, "Religion in Democratic Republic of the Congo", in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religion_in_Democratic_Republic_of_the_Congo, accessed 25 March 2020.
  3. Wikipedia contributors, "Religion in Democratic Republic of the_Congo", in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religion_in_Democratic_Republic_of_the_Congo, accessed 25 March 2020.
  4. Wikipedia contributors, "Catholic Church in Democratic Republic of the_Congo", in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catholic_Church_in_Democratic_Republic_of_the_Congo, accessed 25 March 2020.
  5. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, "Facts and Statistics: Democratic Republic of the Congo, https://newsroom.churchofjesuschrist.org/facts-and-statistics/country/Democratic-Republic-of-the-Congo, accessed 25 March 2020.
  6. Wikipedia contributors, "Church of Christ in the Congo", in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Church_of_Christ_in_the_Congo, accessed 25 March 2020.
  7. Wikipedia contributors, "Kimbanguism", in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kimbanguism, accessed 25 March 2020.