The crisis in the Central African Republic (CAR) began in March of this year after the government of President Bozize was deposed in a coup d’etat by the Seleka coalition of Michel Djotodia. Then, in September, Mr. Djotodia was sworn in as President. He quickly attempted to disband his rebel army and bring order to the traumatized nation. But the transitional government, under Mr. Djotodia’s leadership, has been ineffective, and the dissidents continue to terrorize civilians across the country, particularly targeting the Christian community.
“The Seleka coalition illustrated itself by massive and unprecedented violations of human rights,” church leaders stated, going on to list, “looting, destruction of public and private property, illegal occupation of houses and public buildings, assassinations and murders, threats and intimidation, kidnapping, torture and summary executions and the burning of towns and villages.” The church leaders added, “Christians are specifically most affected. Rebels rape civilians, desecrate churches and religious institutions, and perpetrate violence against priests and pastors in particular. A number have been assassinated.”
An immense humanitarian crisis is in the making. It is estimated that at least 4.6 million people’s lives have been disrupted by the violence; 1.6 million have been displaced and hundreds of thousands face food insecurity. While the international community has been slow to offer any assistance, a small force of poorly trained and demotivated regional peacekeepers have proven unable to protect civilians and restore order.
As a result of this persecution and humanitarian crisis, church leaders recently gathered at a conference sponsored by Open Doors, and for many, this was the first time they had ever come together in a united body. In a show of unity, those present agreed to band together and help one another.
To many, it became obvious that Satan is using chaos in the CAR to further his agenda. But, as the church leaders prayed together, uniting as one in the Body of Christ, they no longer felt alone in their struggles.
Similar to what is happening to the church in Syria, where a revival is underway, God is at work in the CAR thwarting Satan’s plan for destruction. Already the fruit of His work is being revealed! As we witness church leaders coming together, helping those in need as never seen before, His church in the CAR is growing stronger every day.
Central African Republic Christian leaders have asked that we join them in prayer.
Father, it is with horror and a sense of helplessness that we view the carnage occurring in places like the Central African Republic. Indeed, apart from Christ, the situation is without hope. But we are not without hope. Thank You for the confidence that You are there, that You are working in mighty ways, both seen and unseen, in the hearts and lives of men and women in CAR. In the midst of fear, bring peace to Your church. In the midst of injustice, may the justice of Christ reign. In the midst of hunger and homelessness, grant material resources to Your people. And out of the ashes of chaos, may the beauty of Your church rise up as one body united to serve and worship Christ. In the name of Jesus, in whose power we serve Him faithfully, Amen.