Congo Cathedral


Today I flew with MAF on a path that took us over the Ituri Forest. As we were heading home to Bunia from Isiro, the pilot, Joey Martin, suddenly said, “Want to see a cathedral?”

Why not?  I never say no to these kind of questions. We were, however, flying over an expanse of jungle that is the 2nd largest rainforest in the world. It seemed an odd suggestion.

He dropped down from about 10,000 feet to circle a church in the middle of the jungle. I’ve seen some large churches in large villages in the jungle, but nothing has compared to this. This is most certainly a cathedral and it was not in a city or even a village. I searched the internet and found one photo of it on Google Earth that called it Tschungel near Maboma. I then searched for information on this odd monument in the middle of nowhere but came up with absolutely nothing. If anyone out there knows something about this place, I’m dying to know. Here are some pictures of the cathedral as we circled it, and the photo I found online.


** Update: Someone found an interior photo of this church online:




  1. Ian P. 31 March 2013 at 8:46 pm #

    Hey, the Photo on Google Earth says “Kirche im Tschungel bei Maboma”.

    Thats German and means “Church in the jungle near Maboma”.

    Tschungel is misspelled, its actually called “Dschungel” and means jungle.

  2. admin 31 March 2013 at 9:19 pm #

    Ah. Thanks for that info. I have been searching for info on this church using just the Maboma word, but still can’t find anything.

  3. Etienne 19 August 2016 at 2:40 pm #

    Do not search in the internet, just find 😉

    Thanks to “Maboma” I found an article about Joseph Wittebols in the dutch wikipedia. He was bishop from Wamba until he was killed in 1964 by the Simba. When he became bishop in 1949, there were eight churches (Wamba, Bafwabaka, Ibambi, Maboma , Pawa, Avakubi, Bafwasende en Panga).

    With this information I know: it is not a cathedaral, but just a church; it is a catholic church. So I had a look to the “Annuaire de l’église catholique du Congo” (the edition from 2013 is available (a little bit hidden) as PDF on the site of the bishop’s conference). And there is, what you want to know:

    Saint-Jean Baptiste de Maboma (1936)
    − Œuvres : Ecoles primaires et Institut Maboma (pédagogie), Internat pour écoliers et élèves pygmées.

    In English: Parish of Maboma, St-John the Baptist, erected in 1936 with primary school, teacher training school, internat for pupils and pygmies.
    Have a look at (and not G… maps) for a map of the site.

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