Christians in CAR threatened by Islamists

Monday, September 9, 2013

By Joseph DeCaro, Worthy News Correspondent

central-africa-republicBANGUI, CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC (Worthy News)-- More than four months after Islamic rebels seized control of the Christian-majority Central African Republic (CAR), many non-Muslims are now faced with the prospect of being forced to live under Islamic law, according to Morning Star News.

In December, rebels and Islamist mercenaries from Chad and Sudan formed Seleka, an armed coalition that captured the CAR capital in March and sent President Francois Bozize into exile as Islamist Michel Djotodia usurped his office.

In an email to Morning Star News, Lewis Mudge of Human Rights Watch (HRW) wrote that Seleka members have not hesitated to attack Christian places of worship while agents of the new CAR government have attacked their homes and churches, but spared any Muslims.

Mudge reported that the crisis in CAR teeters on the edge of a catastrophe as neighborhoods in the capital of Bangui are attacked and looted by Seleka troops. Villages in the provinces haven't been spared either: HRW documented the destruction of more than 1,000 homes outside the capital in June alone.

“Behind all of this violence,” Mudge wrote, “the humanitarian situation worsens. Because of a lack of security, humanitarian actors cannot access the most vulnerable; people continue to die in the bush due to disease, exposure and malnutrition.”

As a result, last month Godfrey Yogarajah, executive director of the World Evangelical Alliance’s Religious Liberty Commission, called for an immediate end to the breakdown of law and order in CAR.

Yogarajah condemned the selective attack on Christians and their churches and called on the international community, including the global church, to rally around CAR Christians and to send them support.

Although CAR has already suffered sporadic violence from several military coups since its independence from France in 1960, observers describe this latest violence as the worst the African nation has ever seen.