An appeal for peace during Congo’s tense, volatile election period was issued at a Christmas Eve midnight mass in Kinshasa.

The newly appointed Archbishop Fridolin Ambongo called on President Joseph Kabila’s government to hold the elections on Dec. 30, as announced last week.

Cheers greeted his homily at the Notre Dame Cathedral of Kinshasa.

“In this critical period in the history of our country, I invite each of you to have a sense of responsibility, and to embrace nonviolence, so we may make it through December 30, 2018, that elections happen in peace and truth,” said Ambongo.

Congo’s Catholic church has a been a longtime supporter of democracy in the country and has urged Kabila to hold elections, which have been postponed for two years.

Congolese children dance before Msg. Fridolin Ambongo, the the newly appointed Archibishop of Kinshasa, delivers the homily during an early midnight mass at the Notre Dame du Congo Cathedral in Kinshasa, Congo, Monday Dec. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay)
Congolese children dance before Msg. Fridolin Ambongo, the the newly appointed Archibishop of Kinshasa, delivers the homily during an early midnight mass at the Notre Dame du Congo Cathedral in Kinshasa, Congo, Monday Dec. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay)
Msg. Fridolin Ambongo, the the newly appointed Archibishop of Kinshasa, delivers the homily during an early midnight mass at the Notre Dame du Congo Cathedral in Kinshasa, Congo, Monday Dec. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay)
Msg. Fridolin Ambongo, the the newly appointed Archibishop of Kinshasa, delivers the homily during an early midnight mass at the Notre Dame du Congo Cathedral in Kinshasa, Congo, Monday Dec. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay)
Congolese children pray as Msg. Fridolin Ambongo, the the newly appointed Archibishop of Kinshasa, delivers the homily during an early midnight mass at the Notre Dame du Congo Cathedral in Kinshasa, Congo, Monday Dec. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay)
Congolese children pray as Msg. Fridolin Ambongo, the the newly appointed Archibishop of Kinshasa, delivers the homily during an early midnight mass at the Notre Dame du Congo Cathedral in Kinshasa, Congo, Monday Dec. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay)
Congolese worshipers listen to Msg. Fridolin Ambongo, the the newly appointed Archibishop of Kinshasa, deliver the homily during an early midnight mass at the Notre Dame du Congo Cathedral in Kinshasa, Congo, Monday Dec. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay)
Congolese worshipers listen to Msg. Fridolin Ambongo, the the newly appointed Archibishop of Kinshasa, deliver the homily during an early midnight mass at the Notre Dame du Congo Cathedral in Kinshasa, Congo, Monday Dec. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay)
Congolese worshipers listen to Msg. Fridolin Ambongo, the the newly appointed Archibishop of Kinshasa, deliver the homily during an early midnight mass at the Notre Dame du Congo Cathedral in Kinshasa, Congo, Monday Dec. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay)
Congolese worshipers listen to Msg. Fridolin Ambongo, the the newly appointed Archibishop of Kinshasa, deliver the homily during an early midnight mass at the Notre Dame du Congo Cathedral in Kinshasa, Congo, Monday Dec. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay)

Source: The Associated Press