Congo a country of Western Africa, extending from latitude 6° to 8° 20' S. It was discovered in 1484 by the Portuguese, who soon afterwards made settlements and erected forts along its coast. A few years after, Dominican monks were sent there as missionaries, and in 1491 the prince of Congo was baptized under the name of Emanuel. His son, Alphonsus I, who reigned fifty years, sent ambassadors to Rome, of whom several were ordained priests. The next king, Peter I, obtained for Congo a special bishop. The following kings remained, with the people, nominal adherents of the Church, of Rome. The efforts of Roman Catholic missionaries to introduce reforms have been fruitless. In 1878 Congo became a dependency of Belgium and afterwards expanded into the Congo Free State. As this was the result of Mr. Stanley's explorations, he was made governor in 1890. Congo is nominally still an Episcopal see, but at present united with the Portuguese diocese of Angola (q.v.). Some Roman Catholic writers (as P. Karl y. Heil. Aloys, Jahrbuch d. Kirche, Ratisbon, 1812) claim for the diocese of Congo a Roman Catholic population of 80,000, and for that of Angola of 300,000. Wetzer u. Welte, Kirchen-Lex. 2:784.

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