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Kinshasa prepares to welcome Pope Francis

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In DR Congo’s capital Kinshasa, Christian trustworthy are flocking to impromptu market stalls in churchyards to purchase t-shirts and wax tissues adorned with the picture of Pope Francis, forward of the pontiff’s go to.

Papal souvenirs have turn into hot-selling objects forward of the four-day journey which begins on January 31.

“I need to put on the effigy of the Pope as a result of the nice blessing comes, it should,” Justin Marie Bayala mentioned proudly.

Emmanuel Wemo one other consumer doubles down: “I purchased this calendar, I’m completely happy to have the Pope’s effigy at house, it’s a nice blessing for me and my kids”

Many within the Democratic Republic of Congo view the papal go to as an opportunity to assuage tensions within the east, the place M23 rebels have waged a brand new insurgency since final yr and provoked a humanitarian disaster.

Over a million worshippers are anticipated to prove for an open-air mass in Kinshasa’s Ndolo airport on February 1.

“The message I count on from the Pope is the message of peace as a result of just lately, right here, the DRC is tormented right here and there,” Elisabeth Akwete insisted.

Pope Francis was scheduled to reach within the DRC final July, however the journey was postponed over well being issues.

Throughout Kinshasa, banners and indicators welcoming the pope already cling from buildings. His go to marks the primary papal journey to the nation since Pope John Paul II’s in 1985.