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Central African Republic Facts

Score: 70 / 100
Region: Africa
Persecution Type: Islamic Oppression
Persecution Level: Very High
Population: 4,737,000
Christians: 3,456,000
Main Religion: Christianity, Islam
Government: Presidential Republic
Leader: President Faustin-Archange Touadéra

Profile of Persecution

Violence 96%
Church Life 66%
National Life 63%
Community Life 71%
Family Life 58%
Private Life 61%

Threats from jihadist and criminal groups

Over the last year, the situation has worsened for CAR Christians who face intensifying pressure from Muslim extremists. Christians are also threatened by jihadists and criminal groups in the country whose actions often overlap. And Christian civilians are still caught in the violent conflict between the mainly Muslim Seleka militia that has divided into several factions and self-defense militant groups called anti-Balaka that have effectively turned into criminal gangs. Both groups regularly attack churches and believers’ homes. Additionally, the population in Muslim-dominant areas has been influenced to oppose Christians. CAR continues to be mired in anarchy.

How Christians are suffering

The deadly conflict has wreaked havoc on the church in CAR with churches and pastors becoming the main target of Christian persecution attacks. Church buildings of Christian leaders who have denounced the violence have been burned and ransacked. The conflict has resulted in the displacement of thousands of Christians who have lost their homes and livelihood—often forced to live in internal displacement camps (IDPs).

In addition to the insecurity and violence affecting all Christians, converts to Christianity face severe persecution from their immediate family members. Additionally, the local community will often ostracize Christian converts and attempt to force them to renounce Christianity through violence.

Examples

At the beginning of 2018, a prominent priest in Tokoyo was stabbed in an apparent assassination attempt by unknown armed men.

An armed group staged an attack on the Notre-Dame de Fatima church in Bangui on May 1, 2018, killing 15 Christians and wounding 99.

Two months later in late June, a priest was killed in the town of Bambari by unknown assailants who entered the church compound in an apparent attempt to rob the church.

In the southeastern region, two different IDP camps were targeted and attacked within weeks of each other—killing more than 60 people, including church leaders and injuring children.

 

Pray for Central African Republic

  • Pray with Christians targeted by Hausa-Fulani militant herdsmen and Islamic extremists. Pray that they will know God’s peace and provision in the midst of earthly chaos and loss of possessions.
  • Pray for the wisdom of pastors as they minister to their congregations in the face of violence and ongoing bloodshed.
  • Pray that the eyes and hearts of jihadists, criminal groups and Fulani militants will be opened to Jesus.

Stories from Central African Republic

March 8, 2019

Hidden Wounds—Christians Say Rape Is ‘Common’ Persecution Method Against Women

Around the world, Increasing numbers of Christian women are doubly vulnerability to persecution—for both their faith and their gender.

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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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