Central African Republic (MNN) — It’s easy to assume that when a country struggling with violence disappears from the headlines, things are going well and the crisis is passed. The assumption is reinforced when the last news was that of a peace agreement between both sides.
Such is the case with Central African Republic.
In the spring of 2013, Muslim Seleka rebels took the capital city of Central African Republic. A few months later, the Seleka leader resigned because of international pressure, and a transitional government was put in place to try to restore order and stability.
Ongoing Muslim-vs-non-Muslim violence finally resulted in a peace agreement between Selka and anti-Balaka rebels this year.
Yet Open Doors says the suffering is far from over, especially for Christians. Violence and destruction continues, especially in the northeast part of the country.
Rebels are targeting church leaders, killing them to hurt entire churches with one bullet. Pastors are hunted and killed to keep them from ministering to their congregations. Communities are one gunshot away from chaotic violence, and local Christians believe only the hope of the Gospel can bring healing to the lands.
In areas around Kaga Bandoro, Fulani migrants have profited greatly from human trafficking, kidnapping locals to serve as sex slaves or laborers. They’re also invading local towns and chasing out the inhabitants, slaughtering Christians and setting fire to homes and churches.
Refugee camps are high-risk areas where food and shelter are in high demand. Resources are spread thin, and the supplies that arrive every three months often only last for one month.
Shelter is a huge issue as the rainy season approaches, and refugees are trying to build tents out of leaves to protect them from the weather.
The church in Central African Republic is desperate for prayer. Believers are concerned for their brothers and sisters, as well as their local communities. Many say it will be impossible for the country to pull through without the guiding hand of God.