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Violence erupts, threatening the peace of Central African Republic

By October 1, 2015
(Photo courtesy UNHCR)

(Photo courtesy UNHCR)

Central African Republic (MNN) — The peace so many have worked to build in Central Africa Republic (CAR) is now under threat because of a new string of violence, which erupted last Friday in Bangui.

The violence began after a young Muslim boy was killed while in a “Christian” neighborhood. In retaliation, a group of Muslims entered the same neighborhood and opened fire, leaving a dozen dead and 40 wounded. Since then, about 4,000 people have left for refugee camps.

Then on Saturday, the anti-Balaka militia–a militia known for committing horrific acts against Muslims–began fighting back, destroying much of Pastor Nicolas Guerekoyame Gbangou’s work to build inter-religious relations in the area. Furthermore, amongst the chaos, 500 inmates of the Bangui Central Prison have escaped; many of them are anti-Balaka members..

Now, as the fighting continues between various groups such as gangs, militias, U.N. peacekeepers, Muslims, Christians, and others, many have called into question whether to hold CAR’s October election. Without this election, restoring a democracy in this country, which has faced so much violence, may be put on hold.

However, citizens have not given up hope for their country as many in opposition parties are calling for internal help rather then external. Many want the U.N. and the French to let CAR reconstruct it’s national armed forces while trying to move into a new transition for the country, including a call for it’s president to resign.

Regardless, CAR is still a fragile country and in need of prayer as it is ranked #17 on the Open Doors World Watch List–a list of the worst countries where Christians receive the most persecution. Please be praying for the fighting to end and peace to return in CAR, including physical and spiritual healing.

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