The Representative of the the Ahlal-Bayt (A.S) World Assembly of in Congo said: “This country has about one hundred thousand Shia Muslims, among whom there are Lebanese, Indian and Pakistani immigrants”.
According to Shafaqna quoting Shia News, Congo is a country in central Africa with a population of about 60 million. 70% of the inhabitants of this country are Christians, 10% are Muslims and the rest follow the indigenous religions of the region. Shia Muslims have some centers in Congo, and Sunni Muslims in the Congo are mostly Shafi’is. The first Shia Muslims living in the Congo were immigrants from India who had long come to the land for trade. In the 1960s, a group of Shia Muslims migrated from Lebanon to the Congo, but they were more engaged in economic activity.
What follows is a brief conversation with Mirza Hassan Ameli, the representative of the Ahlal-Bayt (A.S) World Assembly in Congo, about the life and situation of the Shia Muslims in this country. This conversation took place on the sidelines of the sixth session of the General Assembly of the Ahlal-Bayt (A.S) World Assembly.
Abna: What religious activities do you have in Congo?
Ameli: We have an Islamic cultural center as well as a mosque in Congo where we promote the teachings of the Ahlal-Bayt (A.S) and offer lessons on the Quran and Hadith in French language.
Abna: What is the situation of Shia Muslims in Congo?
Ameli: Congo has about 100,000 Shia Muslims. This population includes Lebanese, Indian and Pakistani immigrants.
Abna: How does the Congolese government treat the country’s Shia Muslims?
Ameli: There is currently no problem between the Shia Muslims in Congo and the government of the country. In non-religious countries, everyone is free to follow the instructions of their religion.
Abna: Do Shia Muslims have a single leader in the Congo?
Ameli: Each Shia group in Congo has a representative. It is not the case that one person represents all the Shia groups in this country.
Abna: What steps have you taken in order to introduce the teachings of the Ahlal-Bayt (A.S) and to counter Takfiri thinking in the Congo country?
Ameli: We held seminars in the Congo with the participation of our Sunni brothers and non-Muslims with the aim of teaching them the teachings of the Ahl al-Bayt (AS). We also show Islamic films for young people, for whom watching these films is very useful.
We held many seminars to introduce true Islam and the importance of Islamic unity. Islam is the religion of peace and we should not misunderstand our religion. There are not many Wahhabis in the Congo, and their geographical location does not allow them to come to Congo.
Abna: What is the importance of introducing Islam in Africa?
Ameli: Most Africans are poor and in a very bad social situation. If they do not have good social conditions, they can hardly get to know religion deeply. Our goal is to help Africans find solutions to their social problems and teach them true Islam.
Abna: Do you have Islamic centers in Congo?
Ameli: Yes, we have Islamic schools and centers in the Congo. We also send teachers to teach the people of this country to show them the way to religion, because most of them do not have strong religious beliefs.