In joint statement, Christian leaders warn of ‘interfaith civil war’
|Church leaders in the Central African Republic |
have issued a joint appeal for international action.
World Watch Monitor
The leaders of the Central African Republic's 4 million Christians have issued a joint plea for military help to disarm a largely Muslim insurgency and prevent "genocidal interfaith civil war."
Meeting Oct. 3-6 in the capital, Bangui, the more than 100 church leaders issued a document accusing the Séléka rebel coalition of killing pastors, raping nuns, torturing civilians, burning villages, destroying churches and looting property.
The church leaders' "Bangui Declaration" urges the international community to "fly rapidly to the rescue, to prevent the country from falling into the hands of extremists and religious fanatics." They said security units provided by neighbouring countries are ineffective and urged the UN to send a more robust, multinational, force.
The delegation to Bangui contained representatives of all Catholic and Protestant denominations in the country. Their declaration was signed by four representatives: Rev. Franco Mbaye-Bondoi, general secretary of the Evangelical Alliance of Central Africa; Rev. Nicolas Geurekoyame-Gbangou, president of the alliance; Mgr. Dieudonné Nzapalainga, the Catholic archbishop of Bangui; and by Abbot Cyriaque Gbate-Doumal, general secretary of the Episcopal Conference of Central Africa.
Their statement also asks for humanitarian aid to affected areas, and for the creation of a transitional government to craft a new constitution and prepare elections.