Introduction / History
The Pagibete live in the rainforest, isolated from others by the Dua River. The people rely on subsistence farming, hunting and fishing to support themselves. The men leave their villages periodically to hunt in the forest. Their diet includes cassava, plantains, rice and maize. They also raise sheep, chickens, ducks and goats for food and income, as forest hunting is becoming less productive. They are self-sufficient, but their isolation restricts trade and communication.
The Pagibete people are among more than 50 million Congolese people who have been affected by civil war that has claimed an estimated 3 to 5 million lives in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Some Pagibete villages have been damaged or even destroyed during the nation's civil war. About 75 percent of the Pagibete people claim to be Christians. The rest practice animism or adhere to cult-like groups. The Pagibete people show a hunger to own Bibles, and during church services, there are frequent explanations of the Scriptures in the Pagibete language. Amid devastation from war, the Pagibete people have responded enthusiastically to Bible translation efforts. The political and economic situation has made it difficult for outsiders to enter the country, but church leaders have released educated people from their congregations to help translate the Scriptures.
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