After more than three months of violence since the presidential elections held on November 28, 2010, the Ivory Coast has become a nation in crisis. Insecurity remains high amid fears that the clashes may escalate into civil war fought along religious lines. Christians in the capital report that they have become victims of violence because they are accused of praying for Laurent Gbagbo. They say Islamic Imams have now started calling on Muslim faithful to attack Christians, accusing them of supporting Mr. Gbagbo, who calls himself a Christian, against Mr. Ouattara, a Muslim, when they pray for peace in the country.
Following the presidential election the international community acknowledged Alassane Ouattara as the victor and new leader of Ivory Coast. Accordingly he has received assistance from the United Nations and French forces who have been supplying Ouattara’s units with arms. However, outgoing president Laurent Gbagbo continues to reject the validity of the elections and refuses to yield power. Hostilities between pro-Gbagbo and Ouattara forces in the west of the country appear to be purely political where commandos are killing, looting and causing havoc. Many civilians are attempting to flee to Liberia and other countries. According to reports, several churches have been burned and Christians roughed up or beaten. Open Doors co-worker in Ivory Coast confirmed that there are Christians who have been killed in these attacks. The UN reports that more than 370 people have been killed in the post-elections violence. In addition, thousands of Christians are without shelter. Around 40,000 desperate people are gathered at churches in and around the capital of Abidjan. The lack of hospitals has aggravated the problem and it appears that many people are dying daily.
Father, we lift up the country of Ivory Coast. We pray for peace in this war-torn country and for divine intervention so that the political situation may become stable. We lift up our brothers and sisters who are suffering there in Your name. Be their strength and provision. Give them opportunity to be a blessing to others who are suffering and to bring glory to Your name. Amen
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