The Banyamulenge are a marginalized and persecuted Tutsi group living in the South Kivu district in the Eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo. They have lived for centuries on the Itombwe plateau west of Lake Tanganyika, which has an elevation too high for farming but is ideal for cattle grazing. Because of various political, cultural, and racial differences between them and the surrounding people groups, together with instability in the region from paramilitary and rebel forces, their homeland has been under attack with varying severity since the mid-’90s.
While they are a large and influential group who have been seeking Bible translation for decades, the pressures in the region have precluded work among them. Because of their zeal for God they are famous in the surrounding nations as evangelists and ministers of the gospel. Until now they have been forced to use the Swahili or Kinyarwanda translations, but with the Word in their language, their zeal could be galvanized to great effect not only in Congo, but in the greater regions of East and Central Africa.
Because of the dangerous situation in Eastern Congo and the large refugee population, we currently work with displaced Banyamulenge living abroad, especially in the US. The office for the Kinyamulenge translation project is located at Southeast Christian Church in Louisville, KY.