Nobel Peace Prize Goes to Christian Doctor Who Heals Rape Victims
October 6, 2018
Congolese gynecologist Denis Mukwege is on a crusade for women’s dignity.
A Christian gynecologist who has dedicated his career to caring for victims of rape in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has been awarded a 2018 Nobel Peace Prize.
Denis Mukwege, nicknamed “Dr. Miracle” for his specialized procedures, was a co-recipient for the annual honor alongside Nadia Murad, a Yazidi activist who survived rape and kidnapping by ISIS in Iraq. The Nobel committee said both winners modeled “efforts to end the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war.”
Over the past 20 years, Mukwege has treated tens of thousands of women in Panzi Hospital in Bukavu, many of who had been gang raped by militants in the midst of the country’s conflict, left scarred and stigmatized.
His faith influences his approach to caring for patients holistically, “not only to treat women—their body, [but] also to fight for their own right, to bring them to be autonomous, and, of course, to support them psychologically. And all of this is a process of healing so women can regain their dignity,” he told NPR.
Mukwege is the son of a Pentecostal minister and was inspired to pursue medicine after traveling with his father to pray for the sick. Panzi Hospital, which he founded in 1999, is managed by the Pentecostal Churches in Central Africa (CEPAC).
If Christians do not live out the practical implications of their faith among their communities and neighbors, “we cannot fulfill the mission entrusted to us by Christ,” he said at a keynote for the Lutheran World Federation last year.
Further, the 63-year-old doctor advocates out of a Christian understanding of men and women as equal in dignity before God. He wears a button on his lab coat that says, “Stop Raping Our Greatest Resources, …