21 Central African Republic
WHO IS THE LEADER OF CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC?
The leader of the Central African Republic is President Faustin-Archange Touadera. He was elected in 2016.
HOW MANY CHRISTIANS LIVE IN CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC?
There are 3.5 million Christians living in the Central African Republic. They make up 73 per cent of the population of 4.7 million.
WHY ARE CHRISTIANS PERSECUTED IN CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC?
There has been fighting between Seleka, an Islamic extremist group, and Anti-Balaka, a group made up of animists and nominal Christians, since 2013. Christians are targets for both sides. The Seleka group attacks Christians in order to gain influence and support from the Muslim community and extend their brand of Islam through violence, while the Anti-Balaka groups attack churches that refuse to support them.
WHAT IS LIFE LIKE FOR CHRISTIANS IN CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC?
Christian leaders who have publicly denounced the violence have been threatened and church buildings have been burned and ransacked. The conflict has resulted in the displacement of thousands of Christians who have been forced to live in camps and have lost their homes and livelihoods.
Despite the ongoing violence in CAR, many Christians are courageously continuing to minister to their communities. Veronique's husband, Pastor Tokono, was killed when an ex-Seleka group attacked the town of Gambo, in eastern CAR. Veronique and her children had left Gambo a few days before the attack because the situation had become very tense. When an Open Doors worker visited her, Veronique said, "I will continue ministering even in my husband’s absence just like I did while he was alive. I pray that the Almighty God forgives the attackers because they do not know what they are doing. And also that He will save them from that evil way.”
She thanked Open Doors for visiting her. “Your visit really comforted us because you show that other Christians remember our plight here. You supported us and prayed with us, even without you knowing me and my husband.”
"I pray that the Almighty God forgives the attackers because they do not know what they are doing."
- VERONIQUE, A WIDOW WHO LOST HER HUSBAND TO SELEKA VIOLENCE
HOW CAN I HELP CHRISTIANS IN central AFRICAn republic?
You can give to provide vital support
Open Doors supports the church in CAR through persecution survival training, discipleship training, economic empowerment programmes, trauma care and social rehabilitation projects.
£30 can provide two days of trauma care training for a church leader or lay leader in Africa, so they can help others begin to recover from their traumatic experiences of persecution.
You can tell others
Sign up for advocacy alerts for updates on how you can be a voice for our persecuted church family.
You can pray
Brother Andrew, the founder of Open Doors, says, “Our prayers can go where we cannot... There are no borders, no prison walls, no doors that are closed to us when we pray.”
A PRAYER FOR CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC
Father God, please be with our brothers and sisters in CAR who have experienced horrific violence. Protect them, bring them healing, and give them the strength to forgive their persecutors. Give wisdom to church leaders as they minister to their church members – comfort them that they may comfort others. Change the hearts of violent extremists in CAR, and draw them to Yourself.