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Central African Republic

Central African Republic Facts

Score: 61 / 100
Region: Africa
Persecution Type: Islamic Oppression
Persecution Level: Very High
Population: 5,099,000
Christians: 3,772,000
Main Religion: Christianity, Islam
Government: Presidential Republic
Leader: President Faustin-Archange Touadéra

Profile of Persecution Methodology

Violence 96%
Church Life 52%
National Life 53%
Community Life 60%
Family Life 48%
Private Life 53%

Where Persecution Comes From

While the Central African Republic (CAR) is a country with a Christian majority, there is a significant Muslim minority, particularly in the northeastern part of the country. In a civil war that began in 2013, the militant Séléka group has mobilized Muslims who have been historically marginalized, fighting against the anti-Balaka militant group comprised of animists and nominal Christians. This conflict has been a source of Christian persecution for those of faith who face threats and attacks mainly from the Séléka, but also from the anti-Balaka. These attacks mainly target churches and pastors. In addition to this sectarian violence, Christians from Muslim backgrounds also face significant pressure from their Muslim families and communities as a result of their faith.

How Christians are Suffering

The conflict in CAR has resulted in violence and atrocities towards Christians at the hands of militant groups on both sides of the conflict. Gathering for worship is dangerous, as church buildings are sometimes burned and ransacked. Numerous church leaders have been violently attacked. Thousands of Christians have been displaced as a result of the conflict, forced to relocate to camps and relinquish their livelihoods. Meanwhile, converts from Christianity also experience persecution at the hands of their immediate family members and local communities. These converts are often ostracized and violently pressured to renounce Christianity.

Examples

There have been numerous reports of Christians being attacked by militant groups. In September 2016, members of the Séléka militia assaulted and robbed a group of 15 pastors who were conducting a seminar. They then looted the church as well. This happened just a day after the Séléka looted two Catholic churches and killed nine people in the town of Kaga Bandoro.

In October 2016, Séléka militants attacked and killed 23 Christians in Kaga Bandoro, displacing 14,000 others in the process.

In February 2017, a pastor in the capital city of Bangui was killed and his church demolished. This took place in the PK5 neighborhood, known to be the site of the worst conflict in the city.

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Pray for Central African Republic

  • Pray with Christians targeted by Fulani herdsmen and Muslim terrorists. Pray for these persecutors’ eyes to be opened to the truth of Jesus.
  • Pray for persecuted believers to know God’s faithfulness and peace in the midst of earthly chaos. Pray for provision for those who give up all worldly possessions and rights to know Jesus.
  • Pray for the wisdom of pastors as they minister to their congregations in the face of great difficulties. Pray that the Lord will comfort them so they are able to comfort others.

Stories from Central African Republic

September 13, 2018

10 Women Among 14 Christians Killed in Brutal Attack in Central African Republic

Our church family in the Central African Republic (CAR,No. 35 on the 2018 World Watch List.) urgently asks for our…

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June 27, 2018

Sub-Saharan Africa a Persecution Powder Keg—Recent Nigerian Attack Kills More Than 200 Christians

Across the world’s second-largest continent, Christians are under fire right now in West Africa, East Africa, Central Africa and now…

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September 11, 2017

“Today, we are set free!”

Countless people have been traumatized by the violence engulfing the Central African Republic (CAR). Christians faced brutal victimization through murder,…

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