Thursday, July 19, 2012

Leopold II of Belgium and the [Jesuitical] Congo Free State


Above images:
1) Jesuit logo:
2) "A 1906 Punch cartoon depicting Leopold II as a rubber vine entangling a Congolese man" - Wikipedia; URL:

"..........Under Leopold II's administration, the Congo Free State became one of the greatest international scandals of the early twentieth century. The report of the British Consul Roger Casement led to the arrest and punishment of white officials who had been responsible for killings during a rubber-collecting expedition in 1903 (including one Belgian national for causing the shooting of at least 122 Congolese people).........."


"...... Roger Casement, then the British Consul at Boma (at the mouth of the Congo River), delivered a long, detailed eyewitness report which was published in 1904. The British Congo Reform Association, founded by Morel with Casement's support, demanded action. Other European nations and the United States followed suit. The British Parliament demanded a meeting of the 14 signatory powers to review the 1885 Berlin Agreement. The Belgian Parliament, pushed by Emile Vandervelde and other critics of the King's Congolese policy, forced Leopold to set up an independent commission of inquiry, and despite the King's efforts, in 1905 it confirmed Casement's report.........."

URL: address as above.

During the two first decades of their missionary activity in Congo, the Jesuits experienced a lot of opposition while trying to insert the native youth in their educational system. The frictions were brought to a climax when the Jesuits tried to be appointed legal guardian of hundreds of young men and women who had become orphans during the epidemic of sleeping sickness. The missions of the Jesuits were therefore publicly criticized in November 1905 by the Committee of Inquiry. The first part of my paper will analyze the Committee’s objections with regard to the extreme diligence of the Jesuit recruitment methods, the isolation, the harsh treatment and the alleged exploitation of young Congolese in the Jesuit missions, and particularly in their so-called chapel-farms.

URL:  see below in References.

Above image:
".........The first economic focus of the colony was ivory, but this did not yield the expected levels of revenue. When the global demand for rubber exploded, attention shifted to the labor-intensive collection of sap from rubber plants. Abandoning the promises of the Berlin Conference in the late 1890s, the Free State government restricted foreign access and extorted forced labor from the natives. The abuses suffered were horrific, especially in the rubber industry, and included the effective enslavement of the native population, savage beatings, widespread killing, and frequent mutilation when the unrealistic quotas were not met. Missionary John Harris of Baringa, for example, was so shocked by what he had come across that he wrote to Leopold's chief agent in the Congo saying: "I have just returned from a journey inland to the village of Insongo Mboyo. The abject misery and utter abandon is positively indescribable. I was so moved, Your Excellency, by the people's stories that I took the liberty of promising them that in future you will only kill them for crimes they commit."[5]............"

Above image - Leopold II of Belgium. "The Congo Free State was a large area in Central Africa which was privately controlled by Leopold II, King of the Belgians. Its origins lay in Leopold's attracting scientific, and humanitarian backing for a non-governmental organization, the Association internationale africaine. Using first the multi-national AIA, then the "Committee for Studies of the Upper Congo" (French: Comité d'études du Haut-Congo), and finally the International Association of the Congo (French: Association internationale du Congo), Leopold secured control of most of the Congo basin. Unlike the multinational AIA, the AIC was Leopold's personal vehicle. As the sole shareholder and chairman, he increasingly used it to gather and sell ivory, rubber, and minerals in the upper Congo basin (though it had been set up on the understanding that its purpose was to uplift the local people and develop the area). He gave the AIC the name Congo Free State in 1885. The state included the entire area of the present Democratic Republic of the Congo and existed from 1885 to 1908. The Congo Free State eventually earned infamy due to the increasingly brutal mistreatment of the local peoples and plunder of natural resources, leading to its abolition and annexation by the government of Belgium in 1908." - URL:

"......Of a population of 70,916,439, there are about 35 million Catholics in the country, representing about half of the total population[1] There are six archdioceses and 41 dioceses.[67] The impact of the Roman Catholic Church in the Democratic Republic of Congo is difficult to overestimate. Schatzberg has called it the country's "only truly national institution apart from the state."[68].........."

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".......Above image - "China to push for peace in eastern DRC";...........".  

DRC as Democratic Republic of Congo, alias former

Congo Free State

of infamous RC Leopold II of Belgium.... see my historical:  

Monday, September 06, 2010 

Planetary Economical Chain of Reaction to destroy Western civilization (Lutheran separation between "church" and "state")


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  Friday, March 16, 2012

".....The beginning of a new dawn........"

Thursday, July 19, 2012

The moment X.


For the Committee of Inquiry on Jesuits' treatment of young native Congolese:

File Format: Microsoft Word - Quick View
by W François - 2002
This rather unknown chapter from the history of the Belgian missionary presence in Congo documents the difficult challenge of the encounter between ...

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