I've lost count of how many journalists in the recent weeks have asked me, "Why aren't the media covering the Congo?"
... With an estimated 1,000 people dying there every day as a result of hunger and disease caused by war, it is an appropriate question. But the extent of this coverage of noncoverage is reaching the absurd: print, radio, TV, Internet - they all want to know why they themselves are not writing articles and broadcasting programs about the Congo.
... Indeed. What the world media are missing is one of the deadliest conflicts since World War II: 3.8 million people have died in the Congo since 1998, dwarfing not only the biggest of natural catastrophes, such as December's South Asia tsunami, but also other manmade horrors, such as Darfur.
... With so many dying and so much at stake, it is simply astounding that Congo isn't in the newspapers and on nightly news regularly. Even a nonlethal car bombing in Iraq or a kidnapping in Afghanistan gets more Western media coverage in a day than Congo gets in a typical month of 30,000 dead. So much for the old TV news editors' saw, "If it bleeds, it leads."
We at Gateway are privileged to have among our number, some who come from the Congo. They've seen the violence and suffering first hand. Even they have asked me, Why aren't people interested in the Congo?
As Janet already reported, this Sunday we have invited Patrick, who comes from the Congo, and whose family remains there, to tell us a bit about his recent trip home, and his desire to return. He will have some pictures as well.
This is one real way to show that we do care what's happening in that dark corner of the world.
So, plan to attend, and stay for a soup lunch, put on by the youth.
In fact, anyone who reads this is invited to attend.
Worship is at 10 am. Then shortly after 11:00am, Patrick will do his presentation.