Missionaries in Congo
To curry diplomatic favor, Leopold allowed several hundred Protestant missionaries into the Congo. Most made no protest, but some were outraged at the brutal forced labor system. In articles in church magazines and in speeches throughout the United States and Europe on visits home, they described what they saw: Africans whipped to death, rivers full of corpses, and piles of severed hands—a detail that quickly seared itself on the world's imagination. Belgian army officers often demanded of their men a severed hand from each rebel killed in battle.
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Two men displaying the severed hands of their defeated enemies


E. V. Sjöblom of Sweden was one of the first and most outspoken missionaries in the Congo. Alice Harris, a British Baptist, took photographs of the atrocities she witnessed. William Morrison, a white man, and William Sheppard, the first black missionary in the Congo, were Presbyterians from Virginia whose acts of witness so infuriated Congo colonial authorities that they put the men on trial for libel.
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