- That the anti-Balaka group will be dismantled and stop their killings.
- That God will enable rebel groups to forgive their trespassers - that they will realize that they are mostly killing innocent people.
- For the real Christians in CAR who have gone out of their way to protect the Muslims, even risking their lives.
- That the Muslim refugees who are hiding in the Churches will have an encounter with Jesus.
Central Africa, north of Democratic of the Congo
5 098 826 (2017 est.)
Indigenous beliefs 35%
Roman Catholic 25%
note: animistic beliefs and practices strongly influence the Christian majority
246 432 (2017)
8% (2008 est.)
LEAST REACHED PEOPLE GROUPS
Father as we come before You to pray for CAR, we pray against the greed and against the hunger for power that is evident in rebel groups and government.
We pray that you will dismantle the anti-Balaka group that are walking around with machetes, killing muslims. You know that they themselves have suffered loss from militant Islamists, but we pray that You will enable them to forgive their trespassers. Please help them to see that it is mostly innocent people which they are killing.
We pray for the Christians in CAR who have gone out of their way to protect the Muslims; especially some priest putting their lives in danger to house the Muslims in their churches. We pray, Lord, that the Muslim refugees who are hiding in the Churches will have an encounter with You. We pray that the testimony of the Priests and the believers will enlighten their hearts to see that You are the only God. In Jesus mighty name we pray. Amen.
State of the Church
The constitution does protect religious freedom, however it is not applied. Most of the conflict was initiated by “Christians” in the last 3 years. The Christian excuse was to say "they will attack us, so we must attack first". If you look at the countries around them, you can’t blame them if you look at what is happening in countries around them. The real problem, however, is that there is an underlying ethnic tensions that is masked by religious crusades.
This has sparked tensions between the two religions and the ethnic groups in them.
Although there have been attacks from both sides, it is encouraging to see how some Church leaders have seen this as an opportunity to love them in a Christ-like way by giving them a safe place to stay.
Sadly CAR is rated as one of the least developed countries in the world. It is also seen as a failed state. The risk of genocide is high and in some areas accounts of ethnic cleansing have been reported. CAR is rich in agricultural soil, water, and mineral resources, but corruption is rife and undermines the timber and diamond industries.
Like most countries in the area, it has been terrorized by coup after coup, self-proclaimed emperors and infamous dictators such as Jean-Bedel Bokassa. His reign ended in 1979 when again the country had a coup led by David Dacko who was backed by French commandos based in the country at that time.
David Dack was then toppled by Andre Kolingba. With all the coups happening, meant that every predecessor had to have an army to protect their presidency, which had to be paid. So in 1997, the soldiers of the Kolingba regime started to riot and loot, because they were not paid for their service.
In the same year, the French ended their support to CAR. This sparked widespread critic on the way France just left their colonies to try and rule a state, a system which was not their own. So Paris financed a group of French Speaking African countries to start a peace keeping force, which was incorporated into UN missions.
Skipping ahead, after a few more coups, we see that tens of thousands of Central Africans have been displaced. Many of them fled to Chad, sparking some conflict in the country. In 2008 and 2012 attempts were made to stabilize the country, but it failed after the Seleka rebel alliance marched South and captured the capital in March 2013, ousting President Francois Bozize.
The country fell into chaos after 2012. Christians started attacking Muslims, chasing them away from their country. There is one story though which captured the attention of the media: With the anti-Balaka (a rebel group in CAR) killing Muslims, a Catholic priest opened up his church for the Muslims to hide in and pray in. He risked his life to protect his neighbors.
After the 2016 elections, things have simmered down and does it seem that the country is stabilizing
- African Prayer Initiative: Pray Africa
- INcontext ministries – http://incontextministries.org/
- CIA World Factbook
- Atlas of Global Christianity – Todd M.Johnson & Kenneth R. Ross (Published by – Edinburgh University Press) (Missionaries and national workers: Africa 2010, page 267)
- Prayercast – http://prayercast.com/
- Unreached people groups – http://www.joshuaproject.net
- The voice of the Martyrs – http://www.persecution.com/
- Jul-Dec, 2010 International Religious Freedom Report – http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/irf/2010_5/index.htm
- Operation World – http://www.operationworld.org/african-countries