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Lords Resistance Army

Since the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, the name "Al-Qaeda" has become a household word, and it is the first group that most Americans think of when the term "terrorist group" is used. To many closed-minded citizens, "terrorist" is almost universally associated with "Muslim." If you suggest that there are actually Christian-based terrorist organizations on the loose throughout the world, you are likely to be met with looks of astonishment and disbelief.

This is why there hasn't been a lot of media coverage of one of the most notorious terrorist organizations in the world: the Lord's Resistance Army of Uganda. This group's founder and leader, Joseph Kony, believes that he is the Messiah (though some reports suggest he may only be possessed by spirits), and he has worked to combine three of Christianity's worst aspects together into a brutal fighting force. Those three foundations are faith, murder, and child slavery. Since his organization began acting on its own in the mid-1980s, the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) is reported to have abducted and shanghaied anywhere from 10,000 to 30,000 African children, recruiting them for use as child soldiers and sex slaves. Kony has been known to have his soldiers attack in cross formations, use holy water alongside bullets, and promise his child soldiers that if they paint a cross on their chests, they will not be hurt by enemy gunfire. It's a religious army of pedophiles and murderers who use cult brainwashing, brutally working to fulfill Kony's belief that they are "fighting for the Ten Commandments."

“Is it bad? It is not against human rights. And that commandment was not given by Joseph [Kony]. It was not given by LRA. No, that commandment was given by God.” (UK Times Online, June 28, 2006)

What are they fighting for? It's generally believed the LRA is fighting for the establishment of a government based on the biblical Ten Commandments. This doesn't explain why they've got such a fetish for young children, however.

And why haven't the actions of the LRA been splashed across the front pages of newspapers in the United States? Because Kony hasn't attacked America, of course. As long as the LRA focuses its actions on countries as unimportant to most Americans as Uganda and the Congo, the majority of America isn't going to care about its actions.

Still, there are some unsung heroes who are working to help the victims of this war against children. Be sure to check out the Invisible Children blog, which "uses film, creativity, and social action to end the use of child solders in Joseph Kony's rebel war and restore Northern Uganda to peace and prosperity."

Update: In May of 2010, President Obama signed an act committing the United States to "bring an end to the brutality and destruction" of the Lord's Resistance Army [1]. Whether that means the United States will become involved in the fight with this group, or whether it is only a lot of hot air and tough talk from Washington DC, remains to be seen.